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Evaluating Lamar Jackson’s case as an MVP candidate

Evaluating Lamar Jackson’s case as an MVP candidate

The entire NFL saw on Sunday what the Ravens had seen all season long — Lamar Jackson has been nearly impossible to slow down for 60 minutes this season. 

And after the Ravens final touchdown of the night, Ravens fans chanted “MVP” for the second year quarterback. 

But are they right to do so?

Jackson, through eight games, is currently on a 16-game pace to throw for 3,626 yards, 24 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and have a completion percentage of 64.3 percent. He’s also on pace to rush for 1,274 yards and 10 touchdowns. 

That rushing total would break Mike Vick’s NFL record of 1,039 yards, the only 1,000-yard rushing season for a quarterback in NFL history. Vick threw for 2,374 yards and had 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions that season. 

The MVP in that 2006 season was Ladanian Tomlinson, who ran for 1,815 yards and had 31 combined touchdowns.

Through the first half of this season, Jackson is on-pace to produce one of, if not the best seasons a mobile quarterback has ever put forth. He’s currently on pace for 4,900 yards and 34 touchdowns from scrimmage.  

The league has taken note, as Jackson has sky-rocketed up the MVP ballot list. 

While Jackson’s stock is currently rising in the NFL, he’s still got some giants to topple in the race.

Presumed MVP favorite, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, is currently on a 16-game pace for 4,453 yards passing, 39 passing touchdowns and just two interceptions. He’s also on-track to run for just over 360 yards, meaning he’s on-pace for 4,813 scrimmage yards. Wilson also has a 68.3 completion percentage, too.

Aaron Rodgers, another frontrunner, is completing 65.4 percent of his passes and is on-pace to throw for 4,417 yards and 30 touchdowns with three interceptions. Rodgers isn’t a runner like Wilson and Jackson and is on-pace for 181 rushing yards. Meaning, he’s on-track for 4,600 yards from scrimmage. 

Finally, Deshaun Watson is on-pace for 4,323 yards, 32 touchdowns and almost nine interceptions this season. He’s got a completion percentage of 70.2 and is on-pace for 186 yards rushing and nearly nine rushing touchdowns. Meaning, he’s on a 16-game pace for just over 4,500 yards and 40 touchdowns this season. 

Patrick Mahomes is the true wild card in the MVP race, as he has missed the last two games for Chiefs, who have gone 1-1 in his absence. 

Through seven games, he threw for 2,180 yards, had a completion percentage of 65.1 percent and had 15 touchdowns and just one interception. That’s a 16-game pace of 4,982 yards, 34 touchdowns and two interceptions. His 16-game pace for rushing yards would’ve put him at 5,169 yards from scrimmage. 

The longer he sits out with a dislocated knee, however, the less likely his MVP candidacy becomes. Should he return quickly, though, he would enter himself right back into the race. 

And fair or unfair, there has been just one MVP that wasn’t a quarterback since Tomlinson’s historic 2006 season — Adrian Peterson in 2012, when he rushed for over 2,000 yards — so it’s probably to exclude Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook from this conversation. 

So while it’s fair to include Jackson in the MVP conversation right now, it’s still premature to consider him a favorite, or potentially even in the top-two, of candidates. He's currently on-pace for the most scrimmage yards of anyone in the league, but Wilson's touchdown numbers and Mahomes' pace might be too difficult to pass up for voters.

Jackson has been remarkable this season for the Ravens, but he's not quite at the MVP level just yet. That's not to say, however, that he isn't playing at one.

This article has been updated to reflect Lamar Jackson's correct 16-game pace.

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Former Raven Terrell Suggs and the Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl-bound

Former Raven Terrell Suggs and the Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl-bound

Terrell Suggs and the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Tennessee Titans 35-24 Sunday to advance to Super Bowl LIV in Miami. 

Suggs, who spent 16 seasons with the Ravens, will look to cement his Hall of Fame candidacy with a victory in his second Super Bowl appearance (Won SB XLVII) this time as a member of the AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Suggs departed from Baltimore before the 2019 season, signing a one-year deal with his hometown Arizona Cardinals before being waived mid-season. 

The Ravens were rumored to be interested in a reunion with their all-time leader in sacks but did not put in a claim, being last in waiver priority, and Suggs was claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs.



While the Ravens' 2019 season ended prematurely at the hands of the Titans, fans in Baltimore can take solace knowing that Suggs and the Chiefs helped bring the Titans' magical season to an end.

Suggs' accolades (2011 AP Def. Player of the Year, 2003 AP Def. Rookie of the Year, 7x Pro-Bowl, 1x All-Pro) will stand the test of time, but adding a second Super Bowl ring to his resume would make his Hall of Fame candidacy that much greater. 

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The Ravens appear to have their entire coaching staff returning for the 2020 season

The Ravens appear to have their entire coaching staff returning for the 2020 season

While the Ravens roster will likely remain mostly together for the 2020 regular season, it appears the coaching staff will stay entirely intact, too. 

After both coordinators, Greg Roman and Don “Wink” Martindale, had interviews with the Browns and Giants, respectively, those jobs were filled by Kevin Stefanski and Joe Judge. 

And more recently, quarterbacks coach James Urban and tight ends coach Bobby Engram were requested for interviews by the Eagles. Harbaugh said both Engram and Urban pulled out of the running and weren’t interested.

“It looks like our staff is going to stay together,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I can tell you that. I’m not saying anything couldn’t happen; there are always things brewing for a certain period of time.”

The Ravens have every offensive starter from the divisional playoff game under contract for next season, and now appear to have the offensive coordinator and all of the position coaches back on-board for another run too. The Ravens set a franchise record with 531 points, led by Lamar Jackson.

Things are still fluid, as a job opportunity for anyone on the staff can pop up out of the blue. But for now, the Ravens look like they’ll run the entire operation back for another go at a Super Bowl.

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