OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With a birthday coming up on Monday, Lamar Jackson has one simple gift request:
“That win. I can taste it. It’s like Thanksgiving with that food, sweet potato pie. Definitely. I’m trying to taste that victory,” he said.
The soon-to-be 22-year-old is set to become the youngest quarterback to ever start an NFL playoff game when the Ravens host the Chargers on Sunday afternoon in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
The Ravens are back in the postseason.
And you could feel it on Wednesday around the team facility.
“The playoffs. That whole thing. You’re trying to get the championship now,” said Jackson.
“You bounce in the building on a playoff week and you certainly feel like you’re refreshed,” said head coach John Harbaugh.
“Intensity. Atmosphere. It’s the playoffs,” said safety Tony Jefferson. “Every play counts. Every inch, every yard, all that counts.”
“This is amazing, right? It’s like a new season, new energy, great opportunity,” added safety Eric Weddle. “We’re loose.”
Maybe because, to them, they’ve been playing playoff games since mid November when their record was 4-5.
“We’re as mentally tough group as there is in this entire league,” said Weddle.
This will be the second time around with the Chargers. The Ravens beat them in Los Angeles eleven days ago.
“Are they going to game plan us the same way that they did the first game or are they going to completely change the game plan? Are we going to change are game plan? You really don’t know exactly,” said guard Marshal Yanda.
One area where the Ravens will need to keep an eye on this weekend is at tight end. That’s a position that has burned Baltimore at times this season.
L.A. tight end Hunter Henry should be available to play on Sunday. He’s missed the entire year with an ACL injury.
“We’re not really worried if he is or isn’t. He’s another good player. At this point everyone you go against is good,” said Weddle. “We’re just going to go out there and do our thing.”
“I don’t think it will dramatically change what we run scheme-wise, but it will change the personnel/matchup part of it a little bit,” added Harbaugh.
This will be the sixth home playoff game in Ravens history and first since the Super Bowl season of 2012.