Through his first two seasons, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has become one of the top quarterbacks in the league. Jackson has quickly turned into a superstar talent that is must-watch TV any time the Ravens play. He is the central focus of the franchise’s future with his promising career ahead. With all that momentum building in that direction, Jackson received the unique honor of being the cover athlete for Madden 21.
Lamar Jackson’s rise to stardom
Following an impressive showing in his rookie campaign after taking over as the starter, Jackson took it to another notch in the 2019 season that saw him put forth a historic year.
The 23-year-old stepped forward in his first full season under center as he quieted the doubters with his play. Jackson was a game-changing factor with both his arm and legs that led the Ravens to the best mark in the league and earned the regular-season MVP award as only the second unanimous winner.
He demonstrated to be more than a capable passer as he led the league with 36 touchdown passes to just six interceptions, first with an 81.9 quarterback rating, and held a 113.3 passer rating. Jackson also proved to be a significant factor in the running game as he broke Michael Vick’s quarterback rushing record with 1,206 rushing yards.
He also became the first player to record at least 30 touchdowns passes and 1,000 rushing yards in a single season. All of that translated to the Ravens’ having the highest-scoring offense in the league and were the first to average more than 200 rushing yards per game.
Although Jackson had his shortcomings in the playoffs, it shouldn’t overshadow or diminish the tremendous season that he put forth that has placed an incredibly bright future ahead of him and the Ravens.
Lamar Jackson hoping to follow Patrick Mahomes’ path
There’s no question that Jackson has arrived as one of the top players in the NFL in his short time in the league.
The reigning MVP can add another unique honor to his name as he revealed on Tuesday morning that EA Sports had informed him that he would be on the cover of Madden 21.
“Yeah the talked to me. I will be on the cover of Madden. I am not worried about no curse. Patrick Mahomes was on the front and he won (Super Bowl) MVP. I want that curse. I hope that is the curse.”
Jackson is following Patrick Mahomes as the next cover star as he went to Super Bowl LIV and won Super Bowl MVP. There was a slight hiccup with a dislocated kneecap injury that cost him a few games in the regular season, but that didn’t derail the ultimate goal.
The Ravens star quarterback will have his chance to follow in Mahomes’ footsteps next season. Jackson marks the second player from Baltimore to earn that honor as Hall of Famer Ray Lewis was on the Madden NFL 2005 cover.
Should Lamar Jackson be worried about the Madden curse?
Over the years, there has been the notion of the “Madden curse,” which is a reference to the cover athlete suffering either a significant injury or a notable drop off in production.
That has been a stigma that has stuck around the game, but in recent years that has dwindled. As Jackson points out, Mahomes put forth another impressive campaign that ended with winning Super Bowl 54.
His production may not have been the astronomical level it was in 2018, and he missed a couple of games due to injury, but he still played at an elite level and was the reason his team won the Super Bowl. Jackson will have his chance to prove that notion wrong once again in 2020.