Recently, Jackson was named Pro Football Focus Offensive Player of the Year. The site cast their vote and Jackson got the honor for what he was able to do on the field in a record smashing 2019 season.
Here’s a look at what writer Sam Monson wrote in the piece as to what tipped the scales for everyone at PFF in terms of Jackson being the top offensive player this season:
“The logic is simply that no player had as big of an impact on offense as Jackson did this season. We knew what a special ball carrier he was and saw how easily that translated to the NFL in his rookie year, but nothing quite prepared us for his 2019 season.
Jackson spent a career at Louisville embarrassing college defenders with his running ability while also passing to good effect, and he secured the Heisman Trophy in 2016 as a result. At the NFL level, that running ability was an immediate like-for-like translation, but the passing took more time.
When we analyzed our ball location data from PFF’s QB Annual a season ago, we could see that Jackson was among the least accurate passers in football. Whatever way you sliced the numbers (adjusting for drops, depth of target, situation, etc.), his passing was an issue. However, he was so spectacular as a rushing threat that the offense still functioned even with that level of passing, though it did put a fairly firm cap on how good he could be without improvement in that area.
What few saw coming, though, was Jackson’s spectacular improvement as a passer in 2019. He led the league in passing touchdowns, had a top-10 completion percentage and owned the third-best passer rating, and that’s just on a box score level. Of course, we know those can lie, but in this case, they are backed up by the tape.”
The fact that Jackson took a leap forward as both a passer and a runner was a huge fact on display all year, and possibly the biggest reason he will be poised to take home plenty of awards this offseason.
This is merely another one that Jackson can expect to have on his ledger moving forward now.
Lamar Jackson the NFL MVP Favorite
Regardless of the way the season ended, Jackson remains the shoo-in MVP lock. 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 to take home the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award.
Here’s a look at what Pelissero wrote about Jackson, who placed well ahead of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in the minds of those 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.
Don’t expect this to change simply because Jackson lost in the playoffs in this case either.
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.
Expect the awards to keep rolling in for the quarterback now.