Lamar Jackson’s Super Bowl dreams can seem to border on obsession, and to some the dividing line is hard to distinguish.

James Urban, Jackson’s first quarterbacks coach in Baltimore, said in 2020 that his hunger for an NFL title was “short of an obsession, but it’s an obsession.” Two years later, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said Jackson was “obsessed with winning a Super Bowl.”

In Year 6, Jackson’s aspirations are as public as ever. In May, at the news conference announcing his contract extension, Jackson said he “really want[s] to finish my career here and win a Super Bowl here.” When he spoke with Tom Brady in a recent podcast appearance, Jackson said he hadn’t accomplished what he wanted to yet, “so that’s why that chip is still on my shoulder. I want that Super Bowl.”

The Ravens aren’t there yet, but they can get one step closer Saturday. With a win over the fourth-seeded Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium, the top-seeded Ravens would advance to the AFC championship game for the first time in Jackson’s career, a breakthrough for a player whose postseason record has fallen well short of his regular-season excellence.

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A divisional-round win “would be great,” Jackson said Tuesday. In his four playoff starts, he’s 1-1 in the wild-card round but 0-2 in the divisional round. “It would be great. But we are just going to handle everything one day at a time.”

Jackson grasps the personal significance of Saturday’s game. So do his teammates. On Tuesday, nine Ravens players were asked what it would be like to see Jackson’s talent and dedication rewarded with a potentially narrative-changing win. Here’s what they said.

Tyler Huntley

“He’s just got to go 1-0, and that’s what he’s striving for. I think he’s going to do a great job of playing his best. He’s got three games to really just do his thing. I think he’s going to cherish every moment and he’s going to do it. ... He’s a great leader without even having to put his foot down. He just leads by example, goes out there with his play. He strives to be great at everything he does.”

Gus Edwards

“I would love to see it all come together for him. He put up a performance — I know there’s a lot of doubters, and he just keeps proving them wrong. And Saturday’s not going to be any different.”

Melvin Gordon III

“I think he’s a real quiet guy, but he’s very competitive in his own way. I didn’t know he had that much drive to him, that much fire to him. And you kind of see it. I mean, he’s real subtle with it. We could be winning by 30 points, and he’s like, ‘Nah, it’s 0-0. We can’t let up.’ He’s got a real killer mindset. It’s just dope to see, because if you just see him every day, you wouldn’t think as such. But on game day, he just gets activated. Really, every day, for real, but he’s just real subtle, you could kind of overlook it a little.”

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Tyler Linderbaum

“Lamar’s going to go out there and be Lamar. I think — what’s this, two years now, since he’s been in a playoff game due to to injuries or whatever? I think he’s ready. Because he keeps talking about his goal, his goal, his goal, and that’s the team’s goal as well. We all want to get to where we want to be at the end of the season, and it starts with this first game right in front of us.”

Isaiah Likely

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) speaks with tight end Isaiah Likely (80) during the first quarter of a home game against the Washington Commanders on 8/27/22. The Ravens beat the Commanders, 17-15, in the preseason matchup at M&T Bank Stadium. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

“It’d mean everything. Just seeing the hard work he puts in every day, seeing that leader aspect, even jumping from my first year to now, he deserves all the credit. Not only just being the MVP this year, but also just showing you guys that anytime he’s put in a crucial situation, he can really come out victorious.”

Brandon Stephens

“We know how much work Lamar puts in — the offense, the coaches, both sides of the ball. I think this team just wants to go out there and play for one another and make this run. Because we know we can. It’s really just about us and how we approach each day in order to do that.”

Geno Stone

“When I first got here, that was the message. I know since he got drafted, he always wanted to bring a Super Bowl here. I think that’s what he’s been trying to do his whole career. All the accomplishments he has individually, he likes it, but he always preaches winning a Super Bowl.”

Kyle Hamilton

“He definitely deserves it. He’s good enough to do it, to lead us through, to win a championship. And I think everybody in here believes that we can do it, that he can do it. And I feel like everybody else knows it in the world. It just hasn’t happened yet. Everybody goes at their own pace, but I think we’ve got the tools now to make that a reality.”

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Kyle Van Noy

“I think it’s meaningful for everybody, but I think for him, he’s said it all year, and I think you know the three words that he’s said: ‘I’m locked in.’ And he means it.”

Baltimore Banner columnist Kyle Goon contributed to this story.

Jonas Shaffer is a Ravens beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun. Shaffer graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Silver Spring. 

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