Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is one of the toughest players for opposing coaches to prepare for because he has a special ability to make big plays throwing the football and by running with it.
Jackson is completing 63.3 percent of his passes for 1,650 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions through five games. His real impact, however, has come on the ground. The second-year QB ranks 10th in the league (among all players, not just quarterbacks) with 576 rushing yards. He's also tallied three rushing touchdowns, while averaging an impressive 6.9 yards per carry.
The New England Patriots will try to slow down Jackson in Week 9 when they go on the road for a Sunday night matchup with the Ravens.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, speaking on a media conference call Monday, talked about how Jackson's speed is a huge problem for defenses.
"Yeah, he's very fast and he's definitely a hard guy to handle," Belichick said. "That's definitely a problem. He's fast and that's really a big problem. A lot of times he just outruns people. I mean, he's got good moves, too. I'm not saying that, but a lot of times he just outruns people with his speed.
"Catching him is an issue, especially when he keeps the ball. A lot of times he's running against a defensive end, and the ends just aren't fast enough. They have him but they don't have him. He's a problem. He's definitely a problem. He leads the team in rushing, or he did. Maybe he doesn't anymore, but he and (Mark) Ingram are right kind of there together, so it's definitely a challenge."
Jackson and the Ravens had a Week 8 bye, and their previous two games painted a great picture of his awesome rushing abilities.
The 22-year-old quarterback consistently tormented a good Seattle Seahawks defense in Week 7 with 116 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. He also picked up 152 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries versus the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6. Jackson had at least one run of 30-plus yards in each of these games, and the Ravens won both of them to secure a firm grip on first place in the AFC North division.
The Patriots' run defense has been just OK this season, giving 4.6 yards per carry, which ranks 21st in the league. New England will have its hands full with Jackson on Sunday because he's unlike any offensive player this Patriots defense has played all year.
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