Ahead of last weekend’s blowout Baltimore Ravens win over the Cleveland Browns, Lamar Jackson got handed some bulletin board material. Browns defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson had a quote about his expectations for the game, that could certainly be construed as a question about Jackson’s development as a passer.
“I expect them to do what they do best and that’s run the ball,” Richardson said. He added that he didn’t expect the reigning NFL MVP to “turn into Aaron Rodgers over night.”
Jackson may not be a Rodgers-level passer just yet, but he’s taken major strides in that area of his game, and his pure passing numbers look very good. Throw in elite running back-level talent on the ground, and Jackson is unlike any quarterback we’ve seen before. He proved it once again on Sunday afternoon.
On Sunday, Jackson completed 20-of-25 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns, a very impressive passing performance for anybody. He also ran seven times for 45 yards. After the game, Jackson smirked, and acknowledged that Richardson’s quote may have helped fuel him on Sunday.
Lamar Jackson was asked if he heard the comment from Browns DL Sheldon Richardson that he wasn't going to turn into Aaron Rodgers over night. Was it fuel?, Jackson was asked. He smirked and said, "I guess so."
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) September 16, 2020
People really need to stop calling into question Lamar Jackson’s play as a passer. Last season, he threw for 3,127 yards, completing 66.1-percent of his throws for 36 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He also ran for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns.
He has struggled in two playoff appearances in his young career. The first, in 2018, was just a few weeks into his tenure as a starter. Last year’s loss to the Tennessee Titans was rough, but Jackson did put up 508 total yards himself. He missed big throws down the stretch and the Titans defense held the Ravens to 12 points, but we’ve seen it take some time for young quarterbacks to get over the hump in the postseason.
Jackson is just 23 years old, and the Ravens look to be very sharp once again after Sunday’s 38-6 win. If nothing else, Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens are can’t miss television.