At this point, every football fan knows what Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson can bring to the game with his legs. His unprecedented running ability from the quarterback position gives the offense an added dimension that no defense can truly prepare for.
In the past, "dual-threat QB" has really just been a polite way of saying "quarterback who can run, but can't throw." Passing is vastly more efficient than running the ball, so quarterbacks who take off and run too often typically only do so because they don't have the ability to throw well enough.
That's not the case for Jackson, though. According to at least one national analyst, Jackson's abilities are so special that fans may be taking him for granted.
"Lamar Jackson embodies and exemplifies that word: dual threat," Fox Sports football analyst Emmanuel Acho said on Wednesday's episode of Speak For Yourself. "There have only been five rushers to rush for 1,000 yards this season and last season. Only five: Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, Nick Chubb, Aaron Jones and oh, Lamar Jackson. So wait a second, you’re telling me that Lamar Jackson is a top five...running back in the NFL? It doesn’t stop there. Only five quarterbacks have thrown for 62 or more touchdowns the last two years combined. Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady and, oh wait, Lamar Jackson."
There are many ways to evaluate both positions, so these are simplified metrics. But still, they highlight just how diversified the Ravens' offensive attack is with Jackson under center.
One of the reasons Jackson was drafted so high in fantasy drafts this season was because owners were essentially getting a top quarterback and top running back with the same pick. It was the formula for his record-setting fantasy season in 2019, and it carried over to 2020 as well.
It's not just fantasy football where Jackson fills multiple roles, however.
"So you’re telling me, Lamar Jackson is a top five quarterback in the NFL, while simultaneously being a top-five running back in the NFL? He exemplifies the word dual threat," Acho continued. "How do you do both so well at the same time? I’m gonna give it to you like this in movie form. What’s crazy about [A Star Is Born] is plain and simple - they won an Oscar for the movie, but then they also won a Grammy for the same movie. So while simultaneously being a phenomenal movie, they also had a phenomenal singing performance in it. We take Lamar Jackson for granted, and I don’t know if we’ve ever taken an athlete, at least not a football player, more for granted."
Jackson has already won an MVP award - arguably more impressive than winning an Oscar or a Grammy - and has his eyes on even more hardware this season. Like, say, the Lombardi Trophy.
And if the Ravens are going to win the Super Bowl, they won't necessarily need Jackson to be the best quarterback in football or the best running back. But they will happily settle for top-five in both areas, just like they've gotten the past two years.