There was a select group of Lamar Jackson detractors leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft. Some evaluators questioned whether or not he could play quarterback even though he had registered over 9,000 passing yards and won a Heisman Trophy. Many of those doubters have continued to hold onto their wrong evaluations after Jackson turned the season around for the Baltimore Ravens as a rookie and was named NFL MVP the following year.
Jackson’s performance on Monday Night Football in the Ravens 31-25 win over the Indianapolis Colts should put all the doubts about his ability to play quarterback to rest. “It’s one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen. And it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t like we came out just up and down the field,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “We had to overcome and fight through some things. He was under pressure, and he created plays with his feet. He threw the ball away when he had to throw it away.
Once we started— when we were in that situation you’re talking about, we went into our fast mode, no huddle, two-minute-type mode and just came alive— all of our guys did. All the guys who made plays— and the offensive line but it starts with Lamar [Jackson]. He deserves the credit.” Jackson finished the game with 442 passing yards and four touchdowns. He completed 37 of his 43 pass attempts.
The resulting 86-completion percentage is the most ever by a quarterback that had 400 passing yards. Jackson’s 140.5- passer rating was outstanding as well. Monday night’s performance left detractors with very little room to continue their goal post shifting. Jackson completed passes in the middle of the field, outside the numbers, all over the field. He did so from the pocket and on the move.
There was simply nothing the Colts secondary could do to stop Jackson. The last two drives showed what Jackson is capable of as a passer. Jackson led the Ravens on an 11-play drive that covered 75 yards that resulted in a four-yard touchdown pass to Mark Andrews. He then completed another pass to Andrews for the two-point conversion to tie the game and send it to overtime. The Ravens drove 65 yards on their first possession of overtime and Jackson delivered a pass to Marquis Brown for the game-winning touchdown.
“I was just locked in. I was just calm. Everything was just moving slow, and I was just taking it a play at a time. That’s what it was,” Jackson said. The win was Jackson’s 34th as a starter for the Ravens. It tied him with Dan Marino as the only quarterbacks to lead their team to that many wins before turning 25. It’s safe to say that Jackson is among the top players at his position in the league.