After a dominating win Monday night against the Rams, Lamar Jackson has his eyes set on a Super Bowl. Jackson is focused on winning games, and in the process, he’s starting to rewrite the record books.
After rushing for 95 yards against the Los Angeles Rams, Lamar Jackson has brought his season total to 876. He also threw as many touchdowns (5) as he did incompletions. Dual-threat quarterbacks are fun to watch, but none have excelled with the efficiency that Jackson has. He has 24 touchdowns and only five interceptions in 11 games to go along with his supreme rushing stats.
Jackson, a leading MVP candidate in 2019, has now moved into the top 50 all-time in rushing yards by a quarterback. Keep in mind that he only started seven games as a rookie. Oh yeah, he’s only 22 years old.
The Ravens Path To Success
The NFL initially overlooked Jackson. The league has always valued the more traditional pocket passers, such as Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Some thought Jackson should move to receiver, and questioned whether his unique skill-set would translate to the NFL. Four other quarterbacks were taken before him in the 2018 NFL Draft as a result. The Ravens, enamored with him from the start, swooped back into the first round to select Jackson with the 32nd overall pick.
The franchise switched over from Joe Flacco and built the team to match Jackson’s skill set. They bolstered an already top-tier offensive line, and they selected two tight ends in the 2018 draft to help with run blocking. Baltimore signed Mark Ingram in free agency to become the smash mouth back. The Ravens planned to revamp their offense, focusing on a misdirection style of play. That change would surely keep any opponent on their toes when facing Jackson.
The plan has been executed perfectly, and now we see the results. Jackson landed in the perfect spot, and the Ravens have their perfect quarterback for the next 15 years.
The Results Speak for Themselves
The polarizing star quarterback is now on pace to finish the year with 1,274 rushing yards, despite being taken out in blowout wins in 4 of 11 games. Keeping Jackson healthy is essential. Considering he didn’t finish four games when John Harbaugh decided to rest him is even more impressive. If Jackson were to finish with the 1,274 yards he is on pace for, it would push his career rushing total to 1,969. However, we’re still just scratching the surface in terms of records that Jackson could break.
Many people are saying that Jackson can’t possibly hold up to have a long career. With his style of play, he is undoubtedly prone to more hits, increasing the risk of injury. Many rushing quarterbacks have had dramatic dropoffs after sustaining a significant injury. Robert Griffin III took the league by storm during his rookie year until he tore his ACL. Cam Newton has battled injury after injury, and it took a huge toll on him. Some people are even wondering if we’ve seen the last of Newton.
You can’t predict injuries. However, if Jackson were to stay healthy, we could see some records shattered. Michael Vick owns the career rushing record by a quarterback. He retired with 6,109 yards on the ground. If Jackson were to maintain his 2019 pace, he would break that record before the halfway point of his sixth season in the league at age 26.
One record you never think of being broken by a quarterback is the all-time career rushing record. Quarterbacks just don’t get the number of carries that a running back does, despite the short shelf-life of a running back. When you consider the longevity of a quarterback’s career, and the level of success Lamar Jackson has had running the ball, you have to consider the possibility.
Once again, you can’t speculate on injuries, but Jackson doesn’t have to play as late into his careers like a Tom Brady, Drew Brees, or a Peyton Manning. At his current pace, Lamar Jackson could break Emmitt Smith’s career rushing yardage record of 18,355 in his 15th season at the age of 35.
I never thought we would ever see a quarterback mentioned in the same sentence as an all-time leading rusher. Furthermore, I never thought we would see a quarterback with the ability to both run and throw the ball so well. Jackson doesn’t concern himself with records, but the world is taking notice.
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