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Ravens' historic season culminates with several records set Thursday night

Ravens' historic season culminates with several records set Thursday night

The 2019 Baltimore Ravens are one of the best teams in football. We already knew that.

They’re one of the best teams in franchise history. We knew that, too.

What we’re still learning, however, is just how many records the offense is going to set along the way to the most prolific season in team history.

The list of accomplishments this Ravens team has achieved in 2019 is long, and they added several more notable marks Thursday night against the Jets.

Let’s take a deep breath and quickly run through them all.

  • Mark Andrews set the Ravens record for most touchdown receptions by a tight end in a single season.
  • Marquise Brown tied the Ravens record for most touchdown receptions by a rookie in a single season.
  • The Ravens set a team record for rushing yards in a single season -- with two games left to play.
  • Lamar Jackson tied the Ravens record for passing touchdowns in a single season.
  • Lamar Jackson set the NFL record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season.

The last one stands out for obvious reasons. The question quickly shifted from “if” to “when” as it became inevitable Jackson would pass Michael Vick’s rushing record. But the lack of suspense doesn’t make what he’s done any less special.

“It’s pretty cool. My favorite player growing up,” Jackson told reporters when asked about breaking Vick’s record. “It’s amazing, and I’m going to cherish that forever. Just [have] to keep it going. Records are made to be broken, like he said. I heard him say that, and it’s an honor for me to do it.”

Jackson’s newest record is a source of pride for both him and the rest of his teammates.

“It’s a special thing to be able to witness ‘L.J.’ accomplish special things,” running back Mark Ingram described. “Franchise record for TD passes, the league record for QB rushing yards. So I’m just happy for ‘L.J.’ He deserves it. He’s a hard worker. And that’s what we’re here for, to make his job easy and let him do what he does.”

“I mean, you just want to get behind the kid, you know?” longtime guard Marshal Yanda said. “He’s changing the game for us passing, running, just opening up things offensively, so we rally behind him for sure.”

While Yanda may not be quick to take credit for too much of Jackson’s success, his quarterback makes no bones about what his big guard means. As Yanda answered questions about him, Jackson walked past, pointing at Yanda and yelling, “Gold jacket! Gold jacket! Gold jacket!”

A Hall of Fame gold jacket may very well be in Yanda’s future, but his focus remains on the rest of this Ravens season. That focus is mirrored by his head coach, who will remind you Jackson also has his eyes set on a bigger prize. 

“It’s something that I’m sure Lamar, as he says, he’ll look back on some day fondly,” John Harbaugh said when asked about the rushing record. “But right now he has other things to think about.”

It wasn’t just the obvious records tonight.

The Ravens scored a touchdown on their first three possessions of the game -- the fourth time this season they’ve accomplished that. It’s the most times in a single season in 40 years.

Getting off to hot starts has been an under-discussed key to the Ravens’ success this season. Their gameplan is specifically designed to work best when playing from ahead, not behind. 

If teams can’t keep up with the Ravens offense in the first quarter, they find themselves down by multiple touchdowns early. And that’s when their opportunistic defense attacks. 

Lamar Jackson leads the NFL in passing touchdowns. He also leads the league in games with at least three touchdowns. He also leads the league in games with at least four touchdowns, and games with at least five touchdowns, too.

Jackson is quick to deflect credit when it comes to his prolific passing. He points to his running backs, tight ends and receivers as the main factors in his success. One area in which he will take credit for the offense’s historic efficiency? Hard work, and the chemistry it builds.

Setting so many records at once can make one game feel like a coronation of sorts. The only coronation the Ravens are interested in, however, can come in Miami in February.

It’s still a nice reminder of how much has gone right for the Ravens this season. Their offense has taken the league by storm, and in so many ways they have cemented themselves as the team of the season.

It’s fun for the organization to see such a successful season culminate with so many franchise highs in a single night. In fact, you might say they (unofficially) set the franchise record for most franchise records set in a single night.

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Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews help lead AFC to victory in Pro Bowl skills competition

Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews help lead AFC to victory in Pro Bowl skills competition

Lamar Jackson was excellent this season finding his receivers across the field en route to an MVP caliber season. 

As it turns out, he’s not so good at hitting targets that aren’t human. 

Jackson struggled in the precision passing event, an event with moving targets labeled from one to five points and scored just two total points on 17 throws. 

But Jackson’s poor performance in the first event didn’t hurt the AFC, as it won the 2020 Pro Bowl skills competition over the NFC.

“A lot of bad throws,” Jackson said of his performance in the first event. “A little wind with me. It’s all good.” 

As soon as the event aired, Jackson immediately took to Twitter.

The events that followed were: The Gauntlet, Best Hands, Thread The Needle and Dodgeball. 

Jackson and teammate Mark Andrews competed in the Best Hands and Thread The Needle competitions. 

The duo’s obvious chemistry resulted in the second-best time, 49.4 seconds, out of four total pairings. 

The next drill was another passing drill called ‘Thread The Needle,’ which Jackson fared better in. He scored 12 total points, tied for the second-best of four passers. The concept of the drill was to throw the ball past a defender guarding a wall with nine targets, each with a corresponding point total.

In the final event of the night, the AFC beat the NFC two games to zero in dodgeball — led by Jackson and Andrews’ division rival, Browns wideout Jarvis Landry.

Jackson didn’t start the night well, but thankfully for him, the next targets with numbers he’ll see will be actual receivers at the Pro Bowl on Sunday afternoon.

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Lamar Jackson shows off accuracy by hitting a crossbar from 50 yards away

Lamar Jackson shows off accuracy by hitting a crossbar from 50 yards away

Lamar Jackson isn't letting the end of the Ravens' season impact his ability to wow us on the football field. 

Ahead of the Pro Bowl Skills Challenge set for Thursday night, Jackson showed off incredible arm talent by hitting the crossbar from 50 yards away. 

Not bad for a running back. 

This season didn't go as planned for the Raves. They won 12 straight games to finish the regular season 14-2 and Jackson had an MVP season. Everything pointed to at least a trip to the AFC title game until the Titans came into Baltimore and pulled off a shocking upset in the Divisional Round. 

Jackson later explained how he didn't leave his room after the loss, and who can blame him? He's now 0-2 in the playoffs and their latest failure came against a team that had to switch quarterbacks midseason. 

The future is still bright in Baltimore, and while the sting of the playoffs may still be there for Ravens fans, they can still watch their quarterback dazzle in the Skills Challenge and the actual Pro Bowl game on Sunday. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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