By: Jimmie Sykes
MVP-caliber play from second year Quarterback Lamar Jackson is making Baltimore all of a contender in the AFC. This season, Jackson is over 2000 yards passing, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions. Coach Harbaugh went as far as telling Jackson that he "changed the game."
He beat the critics through the air during a 59-10 win over the Miami Dolphins in week one. In the opener, he came out the gate with five passing touchdowns and 320 yards in the air.
"Not bad, for a running back," said Lamar Jackson after the week one win.
That sarcasm was for LJ's naysayers to if he was a starting quarterback in this league or not. Through 10 total weeks, many people had so many words to eat over Lamar's execution.
A new seat at the table.
At age 22, Lamar is looking like the top dual-threat presence in the NFL. He's a winner, starting off his career 6-1 as a rookie with a trip to the postseason. Thirteen wins and three loses to the start his young career carries over to know that his potential is threatening. A 65 percent completion percentage stands for him being an accurate passer.
His streak has him among the top of the MVP ladder. Right along with him is another dual-threat QB in Seattle's Russell Wilson. Their elite level of play is showing how far the Quarterback position has come. QB's are utilizing the read option with a consistent rusher alongside, with all the capability of extending drives and plays with their legs.
Week 9 settled as the biggest win of LJ's young career. That win alone might established the "LJ era". New England traveled to M&T Bank Stadium undefeated, only to get dismantled by a steadfast Raven's rushing attack. Mark Ingram II carried the way with 115 yards on 15 carries. Jackson chipped in with 61 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, and one passing touchdown.
Deal with it.
Entering the draft and last year might've been too early to label Lamar Jackson. The former Heisman winner is used to adapting, and winning. He was placed on the spot last year after taking over for the declining Joe Flacco, who led the Ravens to the 2013 Superbowl. Once Flacco was out of time and eventually town, a new play style was instilled behind Jackson's natural athleticism.
The offense added players such as Marquise "Hollywood" Brown in the first round of the draft. Mark Ingram II was signed after his several year stint in New Orleans. The new weapons along with three skilled tight ends Mark Andrews, Nick Boyle, and Hayden Hurst allows this offense to hit where it hurts on many levels.
This Ravens defense falls near average at 14th in total defense. Their riddled with playmakers such as Earl Thomas, Marcus Peters, and Marlon Humphrey.
Out to prove em' wrong, everytime.
In the interview above with NBC Sports Mike Tirico, Lamar Jackson explains how he is setting out to prove doubters wrong. According to the NFL MVP Stock Watch, Jackson falls second behind Russell Wilson in the MVP race.
This race will get extremely tight with the Ravens matching up against the Texans, Rams, Niners, and Bills in that order. All four of those teams are expected in the postseason, including Jackson's team. Nonetheless, Jackson is poised to finish strong and win the AFC North for the second year in the row. Let's hang tight to see if his MVP-caliber season will carry on for victory and beyond for the young star.
We are now in tune with the LJ era.