Lamar Jackson got his first playoff win, which is a good learning experience for the third-year quarterback as he continues his development as a professional football player.
Another lesson he and the Ravens need to learn? How to win with class.
After the Ravens wrapped up their 20-13 win over the Titans in the Wild Card round on Sunday, Jackson ran off the field and into the tunnel toward the Ravens locker without shaking hands with his vanquished foes. Simultaneously, he waved for his teammates to join him, which many did, leaving the Titans players on the field to shake hands with the few Ravens stragglers who remained to graciously wish their fallen opponents farewell.
If we're going to call out Tom Brady for doing these things, we have to call out Jackson too.
Marcus Peters followed Jackson's example, running off the field without shaking hands with the Titans. The only difference was Peters yelled profanities at the Titans on his way out and had to be directed off the field by a Ravens coach.
Like Isiah Thomas's Pistons refusing to shake hands with Michael Jordan's Bulls after the latter finally vanquished the former in the playoffs, this is horrible sportsmanship. While you may feel animosity toward your opponent during the game, show them respect afterward. It's not too much to ask one quarterback to shake hands with the other, as is customary in the NFL and as Ryan Tannehill would have done if the roles were reversed.
Had this been the only disrespectful element of the Ravens win, this article wouldn't exist. However, Peters authored his own a few minutes before Jackson. After securing the game-sealing interception, Peters ran to the Titans logo and flamboyantly celebrated on it along with his teammates, which resulted in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty. Even Ravens legend Ed Reed called him out for it.
The Titans stomped on the Ravens logo before their regular-season game this year, which resulted in a skirmish, and beat Baltimore in the playoffs last year, so I get the idea of payback's a bitch. But these actions come across as an immature team unaccustomed to the intricacies of how to handle one's self in victory because they haven't been there before.