Lamar Jackson did it again in prime time. The MVP favorite led the AFC North champion Baltimore Ravens (12-2) to a 42-21 victory over the New York Jets (5-9) on Thursday evening. Here’s what we learned from Baltimore’s win:
1. With his educated feet and underrated arm, Lamar Jackson took his 2019 tour de force to Thursday night and dazzled all the same, running past records, throwing for a quintet of scores and leading the Ravens to an AFC North title-clinching win over the Jets, 42-21. In Jackson’s latest installment of amazement, he threw for five touchdowns (all to different targets) on a rather spotless night through the air that offered no interceptions and a 134.4 rating, while also setting a new single-season quarterback rushing record; he finished the evening with 86 yards on eight carries. The NFL zooms from autumn to autumn with rapidly changing schemes and designs. There’s no telling if the opposition will catch up or slow down Jackson and offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s offense, but the man who befuddled another defense and had M-V-P chants raining down on him is leading a full-speed offensive revolution that was televised for a national audience. When the bright lights dimmed on Jackson’s latest four-quarter highlight reel, he had recorded his third game this season with four-plus passing touchdowns and 50-plus rushing yards, which, per NFL Research, tied Cam Newton for the most such games by any player in the Super Bowl era — in a career. With tales of his second season still to be written, Jackson has consistently amazed and he’s not slowing down and only the best of the best are catching up.
2. Once upon a time in Baltimore, there was a losing streak — all of two games. That was in the dying days of September and since then the Ravens haven’t lost and have run roughshod over just about every team in their path to further glory. The latest left in their wake were the Jets, as the Ravens won their 10th in a row — the most in their history. This was the season finale for "Thursday Night Football," but there was hardly a cliff hanger. The Ravens will move on to the postseason as a legitimate Super Bowl contender, while the Jets will carry on in their seemingly constant state of rebuild. For as many questions that remain for the Jets going forward into the offseason, there is promise for the Ravens. Along with Jackson and Mark Ingram, there is rookie receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown (caught his seventh touchdown) and second-year tight end Mark Andrews (caught a tight end-franchise record eighth TD) highlighting a burgeoning group of skill-position players seemingly getting better by the game. The offensive line is stellar, which can’t be argued for a group of people movers leading a rushing attack averaging more than 200 yards rushing per game. And the defense, once the hallmark of the franchise, is rounding into form during the most important months of the football calendar, boasting the league’s top scoring defense over the last eight weeks. An impressive win over the Jets hardly bolsters a resume, but their showcase performance on Thursday was further evidence — if any was needed — that the Ravens are a legitimate contender for the Lombardi Trophy.
Around The NFL will have more on the Ravens’ win shortly.
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