It was hard to expect Lamar Jackson would repeat the season he had in 2019. There's a reason why he's one of two unanimous MVPs in NFL history.
Despite his struggles in the passing game and a COVID-19 outbreak around Thanksgiving, Jackson is now playing his best football for a Ravens team trying to secure a wild card spot in the AFC playoffs.
“He’s playing at an elite level," Mark Andrews said after Monday's win. "You look at his completions and the way he’s running the ball, [he’s] the complete package. Like I said before, it’s a pleasure to be able to play with him. He’s so special in everything that he does. He makes everyone else’s jobs easier."
The turf was slippery, his defense had trouble getting Baker Mayfield off the field and he had to deal with cramps that temporarily took him out of the game in the second half. Still, Jackson finished with 287 yards (163 passing, 124 rushing) and three touchdowns (one passing, two rushing), one coming on a dime to Marquise Brown shortly after returning from the locker room to lead the Ravens to a 47-42 win.
"He had a heck of a game today," Andrews said. "I don’t know what the stat line was, but he was efficient as heck. We were able to complete drives and be efficient, and everyone was making plays. That’s what it’s all about. We were clicking today.”
Now at 8-5, the Ravens are in prime position to secure a wild card spot. They have three winnable games against the Jaguars, Giants and Bengals to close out the year and already hold the tiebreaker over two of the three teams in front of them (Browns and Colts).
Perhaps the most important thing to the Ravens' playoff hopes, however, is that their star quarterback is beginning to play his best football late in the year.
“He’s a special individual," Marquise Brown said. "The way he’s able to take control of games and use his legs, use his arm to the way that nobody can, he’s very special.”