Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens are taking the league by storm this season. They made the playoffs last season, but they look like one of the league’s elite in 2019. They’re challenging the NFL’s top teams and threatening to majorly disrupt the status quo come playoff time. But there’s one bit of evidence that they may have more than just great offense and defense on their side. They may also be getting aid from a higher power.
Baltimore Ravens 2019 season overview
The Ravens lost two games in a row earlier this season to the Browns and Chiefs, pulling their record to 2-2. That was the last time the team faced any kind of real turmoil as they’ve rolled off nine straight victories since.
The Ravens are currently first in the AFC North with a record of 11-2. They have big wins over the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, and Houston Texans. If you wanted to call them the best team in football right now, it would be hard to argue with that analysis.
No one seems to be able to stop standout quarterback Lamar Jackson. Whether he’s slicing through the defense with a marvelous run or throwing darts in the passing game, Jackson is the fuel that powers the Ravens’ potent offense (more on that in a minute).
- Rushing yards per game — 200.9 (first)
- Points scored — 430 (first)
- Points per game — 33.1 (first)
- Total yards per game — 5,306 (second)
- Yards allowed — 4,090 (seventh)
- Points allowed — 236 (fifth)
Right now, the key to the Ravens success boils down to one player: quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Lamar Jackson 2019 season overview
The Ravens drafted Jackson with the No. 32 pick of the 2018 NFL draft. He assumed starting duties from Joe Flacco late last season and hasn’t looked back. Jackson’s dual-threat ability as both a passer and runner has given the league a unique talent the likes of which they haven’t seen recently. Here’s what he’s accomplished this season:
- 13 games played
- 11-2 win-loss record
- 2,677 passing yards
- 28 passing touchdowns
- Six interceptions
- 1,017 rushing yards
- Seven rushing touchdowns
Lamar Jackson is the leading vote-getter in Pro Bowl voting right now, showing that his popularity is truly starting to take off. If the Ravens keep it up, they’re looking at a first-round bye, and thoughts of a potential Super Bowl appearance do not seem out of the question. They may need luck to get there, however. They may get that luck though, as they now likely have one very powerful fan on their side.
Why God might help Lamar Jackson and the Ravens on their Super Bowl quest
The “higher power” on the Ravens’ side? Quite possibly, God himself, or at least one of his messengers:
“Representatives from the Archdiocese of Baltimore gave a Ravens No. 8 jersey to Pope Francis during a visit in Rome on Tuesday. The jersey, which features Jackson’s number, has “Francis” on the back and was autographed by coach John Harbaugh and the NFL Most Valuable Player front-runner.
“It’s great,” Harbaugh said Wednesday. “Baltimore is the home of the Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church. It first started here in the New World, here in Baltimore. So, it’s an honor to have Pope Francis here, obviously, especially as a Catholic. I appreciate that. And it’s kind of neat.”
The ESPN piece also reported that Jackson’s jersey was the highest seller on Cyber Monday this year. There’s no word on whether Pope Francis has slipped into the purple and black jersey yet.
And while His Holiness isn’t a big American football fan — he reportedly prefers soccer — it’s a good bet that the Ravens may now be his favorite team. If you’d ask the Baltimore faithful, they’d probably appreciate his support — especially during the playoffs, when they need whatever help they can get to succeed.