If there is one thing that I can agree with the Lamar Jackson haters on, (you know, the ones that occupy your Twitter mentions and spew nonsense about Lamar Jackson being “unable to pass,”) it’s that Lamar Jackson is not a quarterback. There, I said it, Lamar Jackson is NOT a quarterback.
Lamar Jackson is instead a super-weapon, one that cannot be confined to a single position. Jackson may line up under center, but is that really enough to simply classify him as a quarterback? This man is an athlete the likes of which the National Football League has never seen. He has the arm of Joe Montana, the legs of a Barry Sanders, the speed and elusiveness of Devin Hester, and the football IQ of Bill Walsh.
The only player one can even compare to Lamar Jackson is Michael Vick, the electric and elusive quarterback that dominated the early 2000s. But even prime Michael Vick cannot match Lamar Jackson’s unique ability and skillset. Lamar Jackson is on pace to throw for 3,626 yards, 24 touchdowns, and just ten interceptions, with a 64.3% completion rate, and run for 1,274 yards and another ten touchdowns this season. It took Michael Vick eight years in the NFL (not counting the two years of suspension) to hit 3,000 passing yards in a single season. That year, 2010, was also the first time Michael Vick completed 60% or more of his passes, and would only do it one more time in his career. And even as the best rushing quarterback in NFL history, Michael Vick only rushed for 1,000 yards in a season once in his career.
Lamar Jackson is on pace to blow the doors off of Vick’s best years, in his second year in the league!
What can a defense do to stop Lamar Jackson? Unfortunately, it seems near impossible right now. Many (including myself, stupidly), believed that the defensive geniuses of the league would “figure out” Lamar Jackson by now. However, as each week goes by, it seems like Lamar Jackson only gets stronger. Not even Bill Belichick, the greatest coach in the history of football, who almost never loses to young quarterbacks and who has the ability to remove the best player on an opposing offense, had no answers for Lamar Jackson.
If you leave a spy on Jackson to mimic his moves, that player simply is not fast enough to catch Jackson, and even if he is in a position to keep Jackson in the pocket, Jackson will take advantage of the new mismatch. Leaving a spy takes one player out of coverage and opens more windows to throw, or takes one out of the pass rush, and allows for more time to throw. Taking the spy away will open up the run game even further, and if you decide to blitz him, well, Jackson will just get creative. Eight teams have tried to bottle him up this season, but there seems to be no way to stop Jackson.
Lamar Jackson flat out trounced the Patriots, on national television. He completed 17 of 23 passes for 163 yards and threw a touchdown and no picks. On the ground, Jackson hit 61 yards o 16 attempts, two of which were touchdowns. Jackson accounted for 224 of Baltimore’s 372 offensive yards, and as a result, the Ravens were able to dominate time of possession, 37:01 to 22:59.
Until someone schemes up a way to stop Lamar Jackson, he will continue to dominate in the way that only he can, and the Baltimore Ravens will be a near-unstoppable force moving forward. Baltimore now boasts the second-best record in the American Football Conference, and with the win over the Patriots tightening the gap between the two teams, it is not inconceivable that the Ravens could have a January full of home games. Lamar Jackson is the key to clinching that first-seed, and perhaps winning a Super Bowl. The Ravens should be ecstatic about their young quarterback because right now, no one in the NFL has an answer for Lamar Jackson.