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Lamar Jackson delivered impassioned speech at halftime with ‘a lot of cursing’

The soon-to-be two-time league MVP fired up his teammates after a slow start on offense and they responded with a dominant second half performance.

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Kara Durrette/Getty Images

Through the opening two-quarters of the Baltimore Ravens’ divisional-round matchup with the Houston Texans on Saturday night, only one side of the ball was clicking on all cylinders and dominating: the defense.

While Roquan Smith and Co. were leading the charge and playing lights out in the first half, franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson and the offense struggled to consistently stay on the field, move the ball, and handle the pressures and blitzes that the Texans were dialing up. Three of their five first-half drives resulted in a three-and-outs with the last being derailed by back-to-back sacks for losses of nine and 13 yards.

The Ravens would go on to pull away from and shut down the Texans in the second half on their way to a resounding 34-10 victory but before that happened, Jackson lit a fire underneath his teammates on the offensive side of the ball and they answered the call. In the final two quarters, the Ravens didn’t punt once and scored on all four of their drives including two that spanned over 80 yards and seven-plus minutes.

When asked who did most of the talking at halftime during a postgame press conference, Jackson proudly pounded his chest so hard that the sound of the impact was picked up by the microphone as he confidently said “I did.”

“A lot of cursing at halftime,” Jackson said. “Our defense was playing lights out, but we’re not responding. So, we just had to dial in at halftime.”

The three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro has not only been “locked in” in his sixth season in the league but he has become more of a vocal leader who backs up his bold words with even stronger play. Several of his teammates on offense talked about how much his leadership has meant to this team and inspired them to turn it around in the second half against the Texans.

Pro Bowl left tackle Ronnie Stanley made several key blocks in the second half both in pass protection and on the run to help Jackson pick up crucial yards and one of his two rushing touchdowns. He talked about how his message resonated with them beyond the curse words he used to convey it.

“I know what he’s trying to say,” Stanley said. “He’s a very competitive player. He wears his heart on his sleeve. We all know what he wants, and that’s just to win.”

In addition to Jackson’s impassioned words that featured colorful language, the Ravens also switched up their game plan on offense as well. Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken helped lead the collaborative effort that decided not to try to push the ball downfield as much as they did in the first half and focused more on getting the ball out quickly and leaning into a downhill running game.

It worked like a charm and the offense steamrolled the Texans and helped their quarterback make NFL history as the first player to throw and rush for over 100 yards, produce a 100-plus passer rating, and four touchdowns—two rushing and two passing.

“I thought Lamar was going to play great, but he’s played great all year,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “Just now, it’s more important than ever. He’s been locked in from Day 1. That’s his term, and we’ve all ran with it. I think he’s directed this whole thing.”