It has been nothing short of a breakout campaign for Baltimore Ravens’ second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson. His play has elevated him to the limelight as one of the top promising talents while guiding the Ravens towards being considered the Super Bowl unquestioned favorites ahead of the playoffs. Along the way, Jackson has continued to break NFL records that have added to his strong case for the MVP award, which his latest feat might have just sealed him the prestigious honor.
Lamar Jackson’s breakout 2019 campaign
In the months heading into the 2019 season, there was some uncertainty around whether Jackson could continue to find success under center. The bulk of that centered on his heavy usage in the running game as concern stemmed from possible injuries.
The 22-year-old has erased those doubts behind what has been a magical year as he has been an elite factor behind both his arm and legs that has kept opposing defenses off balanced throughout the year. His play in the running game has the Ravens on pace to be the first team in league history to average more than 200 rushing yards per game throughout an entire regular season.
Meanwhile, Jackson has surpassed former Pro Bowl quarterback Michael Vick for the all-time single-season rushing mark for a quarterback. The former Heisman Trophy winner has added another historic mark to his brief NFL resume during Week 16 action against the Cleveland Browns.
Lamar Jackson marks his place in NFL history
With each passing week, Jackson has continued to pile up more NFL records that have further strengthened his case for the MVP award.
He added another remarkable feat to his 2019 campaign after becoming the first player to tally more than 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a single season. To put that in perspective, the season that Vick set the single-season rushing record for a quarterback, he finished with just 2,474 passing yards.
Jackson accomplished that after posting 238 passing yards on 20-of-31 completed attempts with three touchdowns to no interceptions along with 103 rushing yards on 17 carries. Along with setting that record, he also surpassed Vinny Testaverde in Ravens’ history for the most passing touchdowns (33) in a single season.
Jackson moved up to 36 total passing touchdowns to just six interceptions with 3,127 passing yards while holding a 113.3 passer rating while piling up 1,206 rushing yards through the first 15 games played. Beyond his production, the Ravens are in a promising position to make a deep run in the playoffs to the Super Bowl.
Lamar Jackson, Ravens focused on Super Bowl
Jackson may have set another impressive NFL record, but the bigger picture for the Ravens is what’s encouraging for the franchise. The win over the Browns locked them up the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC playoff picture.
Baltimore has been the most consistent team in their conference behind their balanced play on both sides of the ball. However, there is no doubt that Jackson has been the driving offensive force for them offensively for what has been the highest-scoring unit in the league.
The Ravens will likely take the approach of resting their primary starters for the regular-season finale game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. That will probably mean that Pro Bowl running back Mark Ingram will not play in that game to keep him fresh for the playoffs. Ingram is coming off setting the franchise record for a running back with 15 total touchdowns along with breaking the 1,000 rushing-yard mark for the third time in his career. He is also dealing with a calf strain that he suffered against the Browns.
Nonetheless, Jackson and the Ravens’ eyes are fixated on leading the franchise to the Super Bowl.