By: Nick Galle
At 12-2, the Baltimore Ravens have clinched the AFC North for the second year in a row. They have won 10 games in a row, a streak that includes impressive victories over the Seahawks, Patriots, Texans, 49ers, and Bills. The success in Baltimore is due largely in part to one man.
On Thursday, Jackson broke the NFL record for most rushing yards in a single season by a quarterback. The milestone was formerly held by Michael Vick. In addition to his 1,103 yards on the ground, the Ravens quarterback has also rushed for seven touchdowns.
Jackson also leads the league in passing touchdowns (33), QBR (81.2), and is ranked 17th in passing yards (2,889).
The second-year man has thrown for five touchdowns on three separate occasions and has had two games in which he recorded a perfect quarterback rating.
So what makes Jackson so special?
The 22-year-old has the unique ability to successfully execute both the run game and the pass game.
Few quarterbacks have been able to succeed in both facets of offense at such a high level. We saw Robert Griffin try to excel using this playstyle a few years back, but injuries ultimately consumed his career.
Coincidently, Griffin is now backing up Jackson in Baltimore.
The thing is, not many quarterbacks can do what Jackson is doing. The last quarterback to truly see success on the ground and through the air was Michael Vick, so it has been awhile since the league has seen someone under center of this variety.
Defenses do not have the experience to cover such a player, and it has shown.
Even the top defenses in the league, the Patriots and 49ers, struggled to limit Jackson.
New England allows an average of 264.8 yards per game and San Francisco allows an average of 267.4, but Jackson alone was still able to total over 200 yards in each of those games.
No matter how good the defense, Jackson’s talents are too much to handle for opposing teams.
While Patrick Mahomes might still be putting up numbers in Kansas City, for now, the league belongs to Lamar Jackson.
Look for Jackson to take home MVP this season and become the second youngest player in NFL history to do so. The future in Baltimore might just be the brightest it has ever been.
Cover photo via: Getty Images
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