Jackson passed Miami Dolphins legend Dan Marino with the victory, a 34-6 shellacking of the Los Angeles Chargers that saw the Ravens dominate in all parts of the game.
Baltimore’s star quarterback didn’t put up an MVP-caliber performance like he did in last week’s 19-point comeback win over the Indianapolis Colts, but for the first time this season, he didn’t need to. The Ravens’ defense held Chargers offense to just 208 yards, the lowest total for Los Angeles since Justin Herbert took over at quarterback.
Jackson still led the offense to 34 points, despite a less-than-spectacular statline: 167 yards and a touchdown through the air, plus 51 rushing yards and two interceptions. The Chargers’ defense focused on containing Jackson, allowing him to hand the ball off to the Ravens’ running backs for 125 yards and three touchdowns, one each for Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman and Le’Veon Bell.
It’s the second week in a row that Jackson has set an NFL record, as he did last Monday night against the Colts, where he had the highest completion percentage of any quarterback with at least 40 passing attempts or 400 passing yards in a game in league history.
But Jackson cares more about winning a Super Bowl than breaking reords, telling media after the game, “We’re on the road for something else.”
“If it happens, it happens,” he added, “but we want something else.”
Coaches, Teammates Praise Jackson
Still, Jackson’s coaches and teammates took the time to recognize their young quarterback’s achievement, as they arguably understand the rarity of his talent better than anyone else.
“That’s the biggest one,” said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh when asked about the record after the game, adding, “That’s the one that Lamar’s the most proud of, and that’s the one we’re all most proud of.”
Harbaugh has overseen Jackson’s rapid development into one of the league’s best quarterbacks since the Ravens traded up to select the Heisman Award winner at the end of the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft. The pair have drawn headlines for their coach-player chemistry, especially when Harbaugh asks Jackson if he wants to attempt high-leverage fourth-down conversions.
Sunday’s game was also the highly-anticipated debut of wide receiver Rashod Bateman, who the Ravens drafted in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He caught four passes for 29 yards, picking up a first down on each reception, but dropped a throw that led to Jackson’s second interception.
The rookie talked about his first game playing with Jackson, saying “I don’t even know how to put that into words because I’ve looked up to him even before I got to college,” according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.
“It was definitely an honor playing alongside him,” added Bateman, “I’m looking forward to it for some time to come,” a statement with which many Ravens fans will agree.
Jackson Still Taking Ankles
Despite the Chargers’ best efforts, the 2019 MVP still found a way to add a few plays to his highlight reel, including a second-quarter scramble that nullified an offensive holding penalty on the previous play.
Jackson also hit the juke stick multiple times on this play, sending two Los Angeles defenders to the ground as he scrambled for a gain.
Jackson’s next opportunity to cause trouble for defenses is next Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, where the Ravens will try to collect their fifth victory in a row.