There’s no doubt that Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson will be two of the NFL’s biggest stars for years to come. The former won league MVP honors in his first full year as a starter and followed up by winning a Super Bowl title. The latter also won MVP honors once he took over as his team’s starting quarterback. Yet, after watching both stars on Monday Night Football, one thing is clear: Lamar Jackson is not in the same class as Patrick Mahomes.
Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson offer unique skill sets
Surprisingly, both Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson entered the NFL with questions about their next-level fit. While both quarterbacks spent their first year in the league backing up an established veteran, they quickly made everyone look foolish for doubting their NFL futures.
For Mahomes, he has captivated the league with a truly unique skill set. Nobody would pick the Kansas Chiefs star in a footrace against Jackson, but Mahomes does have good mobility and overall athleticism. However, his rocket right arm and ability to throw from any angle makes him arguably the most physically gifted quarterback to ever step foot on an NFL field.
Jackson, on the other hand, brings a totally different element to the equation because of his legs. While the Ravens QB does have a strong arm, he earned MVP honors last season due in large part to his record-setting 1,206 rushing yards. But while Jackson certainly deserves praise for his early-career success, he still has some glaring holes on his resume.
Jackson comes up short in a few key areas
While Patrick Mahomes has led the Chiefs to an AFC title appearance and a Super Bowl championship in back-to-back seasons, Lamar Jackson has yet to experience that type of success. In his first year as a starter, he did lead the Ravens to a 14-2 record and the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
However, the Tennessee Titans thoroughly exposed Jackson’s weaknesses in the playoffs. Facing consistent pressure, the league MVP completed just 52% of his career-high 59 attempts for 365 yards. Jackson threw two interceptions and took four sacks in the 28-12 defeat. And while he showcased his dynamic running skills (143 yards on 20 attempts), the Ravens’ passing attack underwhelmed and resulted in Baltimore’s early playoff exit.
That performance did little to wash away the bad taste of Jackson’s only other playoff appearance. In 2018, he completed just 48% of his passes against the Los Angeles Chargers. Jackson committed three fumbles, threw one interception, and got sacked seven times.
Moreover, the Ravens star also comes up short in another key area: comeback wins. While Mahomes has staged some impressive second-half comebacks, Jackson has failed to do so. In fact, according to ESPN, the third-year pro entered Monday Night Football with an 0-4 record when trailing at halftime. Of course, that record got worse thanks to a statement game by Jackson’s adversary.
Mahomes just proved why the Ravens QB isn’t in his class
On Monday night, Patrick Mahomes proved why Lamar Jackson isn’t in his class. That isn’t a knock on the Ravens star’s ability to impact games, and Jackson certainly still has time to improve as a passer. However, Monday night exposed just how much further ahead Mahomes is in his development as an NFL quarterback.
Facing a stout Ravens defense that allowed just 22 points through two games, Mahomes shredded that unit to the tune of 385 passing yards and four touchdowns. The reigning Super Bowl MVP even added 26 yards and another score on the ground.
On the other hand, Jackson looked completely overwhelmed against a fast, physical Chiefs defense. The reigning MVP completed just 15-of-28 attempts for 97 yards and a touchdown. He also took four more sacks and recorded two fumbles (one lost).
Overall, the statement win by the Chiefs showed that Mahomes has essentially zero flaws in his game. He did not turn the ball over, and he completed almost 75% of his 42 attempts. He remained in full command throughout the game and showcased the ability to make throws under duress. Meanwhile, Jackson said the Chiefs are “our kryptonite” following his team’s 34-20 loss.
Unfortunately for the 23-year-old QB and the rest of the NFL, it seems like no kryptonite substance exists that can stop Mahomes and the Chiefs.
And while there’s still time for the Ravens star to work on his game, Monday night’s performance proved Patrick Mahomes is on an entirely different level than Lamar Jackson and every other NFL quarterback.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.