Louisville sensation, Lamar Jackson, has been making highlight plays at quarterback for years, and continues to awe in his second season in the NFL.
We all know that preseason games don’t count, but doesn’t they mean they are absolutely nothing. That’s especially true when it comes to Lamar Jackson, whose every move, whether it’s an exhibition game or not, is heavily scrutinized.
The skeptics started to follow Jackson in 2016, after his breakout sophomore season with the Louisville Cardinals, breaking a school record with over 1,571 rushing yards, and 21 touchdowns on 260 carries. As a sophomore, Jackson turned into a Heisman-winning performance with 3,543 passing yards, and 30 touchdowns to go along with his ridiculous rushing records.
While preparing for the NFL Draft last year, Jackson was of course, at the center of debate in regards to his arm vs. his feet.
Jackson has been compared to Michael Vick, but NFL critics appear to show more skepticism in his passing game. He still threw impressive passes in college, because he is a Heisman quarterback for a reason, but still is overshadowed with the ‘overuse’ of his running game.
The Ravens new quarterback impressed last season, showing flashes of his elusive ability, and when he started winning games after their veteran Joe Flacco got injured. It was Lamar’s time, and he answered the call, which kept Flacco on the bench, and eventually on another team.
Even with the success last year, and him dominating preseason, Jackson is still considered one of the controversial starting quarterbacks in the league today.
Jackson’s impressive performance against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, was more than just another highlight, at least for me. The new Ravens’ star made plays, but more importantly, looked like a leader, a real quarterback attribute.
Ravens Head Coach, John Harbaugh, spoke about Jackson’s natural leadership, and how he is already evolving as a player. Harbaugh loves him some Lamar Jackson; for he benched veteran QB Flacco for the rookie last season, and many were surprised he let that transition into the playoffs.
Harbaugh was criticized for the move, but now is starting to become more accepted, because he is all-in on Lamar Jackson.
Jackson’s dual-threat ability is a weapon on offense alone, which isn’t even the half of it, for the team has a solid running game: Justice Hill, Gus Edwards, and now Mark Ingram. If Jackson can find the right balance in his game, only using his legs when he has too, the Ravens can be a really dangerous team.
I started following Jackson since his Louisville Cardinal days in college, seeing him just completely hurdle over a Syracuse defender like it was a cone in practice. His athletic ability is unreal, which is probably why he is the most fun to watch college quarterback since Johnny Manziel.
I began hyped beyond belief after his sophomore star season, so I posted, he has to be one of the best quarterbacks still in a very talented 2018 class. Which I believe that’s true, for he was one of the best in overall ability, but of course not over Sam Darold, or Josh Rosen – which have long ways to go after their rookie season in the NFL.
Now after experience as a starting NFL quarterback, and an offseason to work more on his game, I think Lamar Jackson will have a breakout season for the Baltimore Ravens. This Ravens team is definitely my Dark Horse for the 2019 NFL season!
Featured Image from Courier Journal (Photo by: Associated Press)