Since entering the NFL, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has continued to prove he can excel under center behind his stellar play. He has put the Ravens in a promising position to be a potential Super Bowl contender while thrusting himself into the MVP conversation. Jackson proved that to be the case once again in Week 10 against the lowly Cincinnati Bengals.
Lamar Jackson is the real deal
In the weeks before the 2018 NFL draft, there were some strong doubt brewing that Jackson wouldn’t be able to find success at the next level as a quarterback. That led to the suggestion that he should consider switching over to become a wide receiver to best utlize his other skills.
However, it didn’t take long for that notion to look foolish as he has continued to take the league by storm behind his play on the field. He has shown flashes of being a dynamic dual-threat with his leg and arm like Michael Vick once was behind his blazing speed.
Jackson has shown progressive development as a passer that has only made him an even more difficult challenge for opposing defenses to game plan against. He proved that once again be the case on Sunday afternoon.
Lamar Jackson racks up another NFL record
The Bengals simply had no response to slowing down the Ravens’ explosive offense as Jackson had his way on the road in convincing fashion.
The 22-year-old put up a monster performance against Cincinnati as he recorded 15-of-17 completed passes for 223 yards with three touchdowns while holding a perfect 158.3 passer rating. That mark puts him alongside Ben Roethlisberger as the only players to reach that feat twice in a single season, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.
Jackson was also a significant factor in the ground game as he tallied seven rushes for 65 years, which was highlighted by his remarkable 47-yards touchdown scramble. That marked the longest rush of his career and longest since Cam Newton’s 62-yard run back in December 2017.
He has tallied multiple touchdown passes five times while posting a passer rating above 100 on four occasions. Jackson also tallied north of 100 rushing yards three times, along with at least one rushing touchdown five times.
It was a commanding performance as it highlighted Jackson’s unique ability to be a dual-threat option under center that has been the focal point of the Ravens offensive game plan. Beyond that, it further strengthens his bid to earn the MVP award.
Lamar Jackson deserves serious MVP consideration
It has become a crowded race for the MVP award, but it’s tough to leave Jackson out of the mix as possibly the frontrunner for the award.
The former Heisman award winner has continued to take strides forward behind his play while leading the Ravens to a tremendous amount of success. Baltimore could be on track to make a serious bid to secure a first-round playoff bye and potentially much more than at Super Bowl contenders.
Other star players like Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson are all certainly making strong cases. The further along in the season it has moved, the more stellar performances that each of these players continues to rack up.
Patrick Mahomes’ return should also garner some significant consideration as he could finish line up a strong second half of the year that puts him back in the mix. However, if Jackson continues to pile up similar performances like he had in Week 10 where he was nearly unstoppable with his arm and legs, it’s hard to envision anyone else earning the unique honor.