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.
A night of records for the Ravens:— NBC Sports Ravens (@NBCSRavens) December 13, 2019
- Lamar sets single season rushing record for QB
- Mark Andrews sets Ravens single season receiving touchdown record for TE
- Hollywood Brown sets Ravens rookie receiving touchdown record
- Ravens set franchise season team rushing record
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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