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Baltimore Ravens star J.K. Dobbins claimed his team would have upset the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL playoffs if quarterback Lamar Jackson was fit and available. The Ravens were knocked out on Super Wild Card Weekend as they fell 24-17 to the Bengals on Sunday.
Dobbins impressed for the Ravens early and put up 62 yards against the Bengals, but he felt he could – and should – have been utilised more effectively. He lamented his lack of usage in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.
Dobbins also commented on the absence of Jackson, who had missed six straight weeks of practice since suffering a PCL sprain. Without their starting quarterback, the Ravens finished the 2022 regular season with 10-7 record and secured a place in the playoffs only to fall at the first hurdle.
Jackson recently took to social media to shed light on his recovery and referred to his injury as a ‘Grade 2’ sprain that is a borderline Grade 3 issue. The problem was originally listed as ‘week to week’ by head coach John Harbaugh, but Jackson has missed the last five contests.
Dobbins felt that the Ravens would have come away from Cincinnati with a win had their usual starting quarterback and former league MVP been under center. He told reporters: “If we’d have had Lamar, we’d have won too.”
He later clarified that backup quarterback Tyler Huntley ‘played a hell of a game’, but it is clear the Ravens missed their starter in the crucial postseason match. This was perhaps most evident on the biggest play of the match, when the Ravens called for Huntley to go for a quarterback sneak on third down from the one-yard line rather than a Dobbins rush.
With the score tied with just under 12 minutes remaining, Huntley fumbled and the ball was returned for a 98-yard score by Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard. The Ravens’ best offensive player on this night, Dobbins did not receive a single touch on the Ravens’ 80-yard drive that ended with Huntley’s critical fumble – and he criticised the decisive play call.
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“He should never have been in that situation,” Dobbins said of Huntley and the call. “I don’t get a single carry. I believe I would have put it in the end zone, again.
“I’m a guy who feels like if I’m on the field all the time, I can help this team win, and I wasn’t. It’s the playoffs.
“Why am I not out there? (Thirteen) carries? It’s the playoffs.”
Dobbins finished with 105 total yards on 17 touches while he collected the first of Huntley’s two touchdowns passes. Meanwhile, the Bengals will now prepare to face the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round of the postseason.
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