Lamar Jackson made headlines earlier this week when the Ravens quarterback went on the Rich Eisen Show and stated that opposing defenses know what's coming when they face Baltimore's offense.
“It’s a lot of with schemes, we’re going against defenses and they’re calling out our plays, stuff like that,” Jackson said. “They know what we’re doing. A lot of that, sometimes, you know stuff won’t go our way. They beat us to the punch.”
As Baltimore gets ready to face New England on Sunday night, a pair of Patriots defenders added a little spice to the matchup when they told NFL Network's Mike Giardi that they agreed with Jackson's assertion that the Ravens offensive scheme is simple to identify.
"When you boil it down, their offense is very simple," safety Adrian Phillips said. "Just a lot of smoke and mirrors."
Almost a year ago to date, Jackson had perhaps his coming out party against the New England defense. The 2019 MVP finished the game with three total touchdowns (two rushing, one passing) in Baltimore's dominant 37-20 victory over the Patriots on Sunday Night Football.
But, now that the Patriots defense has played against Jackson, they feel a lot more confident facing the third-year quarterback this time around.
"This is our second year getting to look at this offense on tape, and we feel much more comfortable defending it," defensive back Devin McCourty told Giardi.
Asked about Jackson's comments on Thursday, Baltimore offensive coordinator Greg Roman said that playing in empty stadiums due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has plenty to do with it.
“With no fans in the stands, bands or music playing, you can hear a lot right about now,” Roman said. “Some of it I can’t repeat...Calling out plays on a defense is nothing new, I can talk about Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, every play they’re trying to guess what play you’re gonna run based on what they’re seeing. That’s the chess match.”
The Patriots and Ravens have had one of the best rivalries in the NFL over the past two decades. Although Tom Brady is no longer in the picture, don't expect that to change come Sunday evening.