Lamar Jackson: NFL’s Most Dangerous Weapon
The road to “MVP candidate”
Lamar Jackson’s first full season as starter could not have been predicted by anyone other than Jackson himself. After refusing to run the 40 yard dash to show teams a positional change is not an option. A guy dripping in confidence that went under the radar and was doubted by many.. Never even considered to be in the top 3 QB’s in the eyes of “Draft Experts”.
After suffering the disappointing playoff loss to the Chargers, National pundits everywhere were convinced the Chargers created the blueprint of how to stop the unconventional offense ran by the unconventional rookie signal caller. Many ironically coined Lamar Jackson as a “running back that is asked to throw sometimes”
Lamar Jackson entered the league with an instant chip on his shoulder, coupled with extreme, yet quiet confidence to prove them wrong
In week one of Lamar Jackson’s first season as the unquestioned starter, he instantly silenced his critics by showing us how hard he’s worked towards fine tuning his game. All he did was throw for 5 touchdowns on 17/20 passing with not a single turnover, which plagued him in 2018.
For you keeping score at home, that’s more touchdown passes than incompletions.
“Not too bad for a runningback” Jackson said in his post game press conference.
This game did come against the tanking dolphins. When you break it down, he did exactly what top tier QB’s are asked to do. Beat the snot out of bad teams. Not to mention Jackson is merely 22 years old and the sky is the limit in terms of growing his game.
That should scare the rest of the NFL
Going into the bye, Lamar Jackson is putting up “Madden-Like” stats:
Whether they’re choosing to or not, here are some stats that fans around the country are ignoring:
1.He has more passing yards than Carson Wentz.(1,650 yards)
2.He has a better completion percentage than Jared Goff, Matthew Stafford, and Baker Mayfield (63.3)
3.He has a better QBR than Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers (66.9 out of 100)
4. He trails arguably the best runner of the football, Zeke Elliott, in rushing yards by 26 yards. He is tied with Chris Carson, who was a top 5 rusher in 2018 with 576 yards.
5.During the Ravens current 3 game winning streak, Jackson leads the NFL in rushing.with 338 yards.
6. Jackson is on pace for 1,227 yards rushing which would be a record for a QB by a mile. 3,771 yards passing.which would put him just under 5,000 total yards. Not bad for a 22 year old that “can’t throw”
Tell me more about the blueprint the Chargers created to stop the Ravens.
Stats Do Not Tell the Whole Story of Dominance
In Seattle, backed up on their own 12 yard line, Lamar Jackson breaks off a 30 yard run on a crucial 3rd down in the fourth quarter. The best part? There was a linebacker spy by one of the best middle linebackers in the NFL in Bobby Wagner. All Lamar Jackson did was rip off a 30 yard run blowing by Wagner catching him completely off guard.
In the closing minutes of the same game, the Ravens faced a 4th down and 2 in the Seahawks red zone. The field goal unit starts to trot onto the field. John Harbaugh turns to Lamar Jackson and says “Do you want to go for it”
Jackson responded with a resounding “Hell yeah coach lets go for it” and inevitably takes it himself and scores the biggest touchdown of his young career. This was the most impressive win thus far for Jackson.
I can’t remember seeing confidence in the offense oozing out of John Harbaugh in Joe Flacco’s entire tenure– Scratch that. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a coach put so much confidence in a decision made by a player in my life.
Usually when a team loses there is noticeable tension during the post game presser. Just like in the weeks prior, the opposing team’s post game presser is filled with shock and awe over how dangerous and difficult to contain the young QB is. You simply cannot teach the pure playmaking instincts that Lamar Jackson possesses along with the flat out speed he has shown.
In his first career rivalry game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jackson was mostly held in check by a much improved Steelers defense. Trailing by three in the fourth quarter.
Despite never truly finding his rhythm, he drives his team 45 yards down field setting up the Justin Tucker field goal to send it into overtime.
In overtime, after a JuJu Smith-Schuster fumble, Jackson capitalizes by driving them 46 yards again to set up the game winning field goal by Justin Tucker.
Week two against the Cardinals, in a game that should not have been as close as it was, Jackson threw a 41 yard pass to make it impossible to come back sealing the game.
He proved that despite struggling at times, he has the natural instinct to win at all costs.
MVP Award is About More than Personal Stats
When it comes to a team sport like football, making plays when your team needs them will always be more valuable than concrete stats. To put it into metaphorical terms, The award is more than “how shiny your car is.” It’s about how your car performs when you need it most.
This puts more pressure on the offense to keep up with the scoring pace each week. They are asking him to make plays because the other team is.
The non-controllable’s of a team should also be taken into account. The Ravens defense is in the bottom 10 in Passing Yards Allowed, Rushing Yards Allowed, and Sacks.
There will be players with more touchdowns. In reality, he’s had games where he completes less than 10 passes. But when the Ravens need him to make a play for them with the game on the line, he’s got the rare killer instinct to pull it off, with an unmatched urge to win at all costs.
What he will do is put the team in the best position to win putting everything on the line in the process.
Not to mention the Ravens have been without their only real deep threat with Hollywood Brown, being out for 2 games. Drops that have been plaguing the receiving corps in his absence haven’t helped as well.
The lack of deep threat allows the opposing defense to play closer to the line of scrimmage keying in on Jackson more. This makes it easier to slow down the #1 ranked rushing offense, #2 overall offense. Lamar Jackson has the pressure to make plays put on his shoulder.
This is exactly the reason he has gained more yards than full teams have this season.
If the team isn’t performing as a whole, he will put them on his back.
The world is full of pessimists and it extends into the NFL. Fans sometimes have an old fashioned school of thought in terms of what a prototypical franchise QB is. Which is why some will be hesitant to buy into a guy who plays the position unlike anything we’ve witnessed.
In my eyes, down the road, Lamar Jackson will be looked back on as the new gold standard of the “Ideal franchise quarterback.”