Lamar Jackson’s MVP campaign ended with, of all things, Ray Lewis’ signature dance.
After Jackson was unanimously named the league’s MVP on Saturday, he took to the stage at the NFL Awards and briefly thanked everyone who believed in him on his journey from doubted second-year quarterback to the league’s most prestigious individual on-field award.
He ended with a point toward the Ravens legend Lewis, followed by two side-steps in imitation of his famous dance.
“I want to thank God first and foremost because he’s the reason I’m here now,” Jackson began. “There’s been a lot of doubt going on. Me being a running back, a receiver, stuff like that. That came when I got to the league.”
Jackson was selected by the Ravens 32nd overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, and after he started in the second half of his rookie season, there were still doubters aplenty headed into his second season. Still, Jackson didn’t want to focus on the people who didn’t believe in him. He wanted to focus on the people who were there with him from the start.
“I had a great group of guys, a great organization with me. Mr. Steve (Bisciotti), Mr. Ozzie (Newsome), Mr. (Dick) Cass, coach (John) Harbaugh, Mr. Eric (DeCosta), those guys all believed in me,” Jackson continued. “And my mother, the bread and butter.”
Jackson was the unanimous selection for the league’s MVP award after his stunning performance in his first full season as a starter.
He amassed 4,333 total yards and 43 touchdowns and led the NFL in passing touchdowns with 36. He also set the single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,206 yards on the ground in just 15 games.
The Ravens finished 14-2 aided by a 13-2 record by their quarterback, who led the team to 531 total points — a league-best mark.
In a season full of proving critics wrong, Jackson made sure to thank his teammates one final time.
“I didn’t want to talk about that, the doubters, I wanted to talk about the ones who believed in me,” Jackson said. “They were there from the start. I want to thank all the coaches who ever coached me on this long journey. I want to thank my brother, my sisters and my teammates, they’re my brothers too as well. It’s a unit at the end of the day. It’s a business, but we’re family off the field.”
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