Lamar Jackson was a slam dunk candidate for First-Team NFL All-Pro, and might be seen as such for the NFL MVP award as well.
If Jackson is able to pull that off, he will make some significant league history. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter pointed out, at age 23, Jackson is on track to be the youngest winner of the MVP award since Jim Brown claimed the honor at age 23 himself. Brown was a legendary running back for the Cleveland Browns.
Jackson, like Brown, is a player whose greatness is hard to dispute. Saying he means a lot to the Baltimore Ravens currently could be considered an understatement, as he’s been a force thus far in his young NFL career.
If Jackson takes home the honor, it would be yet another impressive footnote to what was a history-making season in 2019.
Lamar Jackson NFL MVP Favorite
According to several in league circles behind the scenes, Jackson is the overwhelming favorite for league MVP, and it isn’t exactly close. In an annual piece picking out awards by Tom Pelissero of NFL.com, the writer spoke with several personalities and the votes were close to unanimous for Jackson as the league’s most valuable player.
Here’s a look at what Pelissero wrote about Jackson, who placed well ahead of Russell Wilson in the minds of many who were asked:
“It was a runaway win for Jackson, who received 19 votes to Seahawks QB Russell Wilson’s five. “He’s just been so unique,” an NFC executive said of Jackson, who has thrown for 2,889 yards and an NFL-high 33 touchdowns while running for a QB-record 1,103 yards in his second season. “The stats alone give him the award, but what he’s done for that team, the energy he’s brought to that city, the energy he’s brought to his whole locker room — they’re just playing on a different level. And no one’s really figured out how to stop him.” The Ravens are 12-2 and on a 10-game winning streak, moving into position for the AFC’s top seed. They overhauled their offense in the offseason under new coordinator Greg Roman to maximize the impact of Jackson’s rare running and playmaking ability. And Jackson has developed as a passer, too. “He puts so much goddamn pressure on you,” an AFC executive said.
Multiple execs who voted for Wilson (28 TDs, 109.3 passer rating) made their case in part on his longevity, since teams have eight years of tape to use in devising a plan against him. Many teams are still facing Jackson, and that scheme, for the first time. “I think Baltimore’s defense has put [Jackson] in a lot of [good] spots,” one GM said, noting that Don Martindale’s ascending unit takes pressure off Jackson and the offense. “If I had to go win a game right now, what quarterback would I take? I’d take Russell Wilson.”
Indeed, Jackson has been a human cheat code much of the season, so it only stands to reason that most feel he will be an easy MVP selection. He’s not only got the numbers but the silly highlight-reel plays which help make such awards a slam dunk in the court of public opinion.
This isn’t to discredit Wilson, who’s also had a great season. Simply, Jackson has been that good and that eye-opening to those who pay the closest attention.
Lamar Jackson Stats
This season, Jackson has been the epitome of a dual-threat quarterback and one of the leaders in the next generation of quarterbacks that will make waves in the league. After the action concluded last week, Jackson has put up 3,127 passing yards and 36 touchdowns through the air. On the ground, he has rumbled for 1,206 yards and 7 touchdowns. As a whole, the Ravens have managed to find the best of Jackson on the field. Arguably, he’s become the most obvious MVP candidate in the league given these types of things.
Since being drafted out of Louisville, Jackson has begun to rewrite the book in the league in terms of what a quarterback is and can be. The fact that he was a shoo-in as an All-Pro is a testament to how good Jackson has been in 2019.
If Jackson ends up making history, it will be yet another impressive feather in his cap.