Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has burst into the 2021 NFL MVP conversation with a record-setting performance against the Indianapolis Colts, earning some extremely high praise from Skip Bayless in the process.
Bayless added his thoughts on Jackson’s performance despite a 19-point deficit, tweeting, “What a great comeback by Lamar Jackson, who shook off his “bad night” and started playing like the MVP he has been.”
Despite a superb start to the season, including a long-awaited victory over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, Jackson was not considered among the frontrunners to win the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award this season.
But after a 442-yard night during which Jackson threw a touchdown on four straight possessions to complete the largest comeback of his career, many league observers are endorsing the 24-year-old quarterback for MVP.
Steven Ruiz of The Ringer pointed out that all four of the Ravens’ wins this season have been largely due to Jackson, whether he used his arm or legs to get the job done.
Jackson’s former backup Robert Griffin III tweeted, “LAMAR JACKSON MVP RIGHT NOW,” right after Jackson’s game-winning touchdown to receiver Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown in overtime. Griffin, now an ESPN analyst also placed Jackson atop his early-season MVP rankings.
Griffin’s ESPN colleague Dan Graziano emphatically added his endorsement for Jackson’s MVP campaign:
Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus offered his perspective on Jackson’s unique skillset, saying “We all must do our part to cherish Lamar Jackson. We won’t see many like him for as long as we watch the sport.”
Former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky must have used a crystal ball when he promoted Jackson as the MVP before Monday night’s game even kicked off. He took to Twitter for a victory lap after Jackson willed the Ravens to a win.
Statistics Back Up Jackson’s MVP Case
Despite a tough start for the Ravens’ offense, which only scored three points in the first half, Jackson turned it on after halftime, taking over the game and leading Baltimore to three straight touchdowns in the fourth quarter and overtime.
When the dust settled, Jackson had put together one of the most impressive performances in his career, including an NFL-record completion percentage of 86% in a game with more than 40 passing attempts or 400 yards.
Though the 19-point comeback in primetime over the Colts may be Jackson’s signature MVP moment so far this season, his MVP case is much stronger than just one game.
Not only has Jackson gained more total yards than any other player in the NFL through five weeks, but his 1,805 combined passing and rushing yards are more than 16 other teams in the league! That’s one-half of the NFL that Jackson has single-handedly out-gained this year, making him the most productive player in the league this season.
Ravens Fans Promote Jackson for MVP
Unsurprisingly, Ravens fans were quick to seize on tonight’s performance as Exhibit A in their case for Jackson’s MVP candidacy.
‘M-V-P’ chants echoed throughout M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore as Ravens fans celebrated the thrilling victory and their intrepid quarterback.