Jackson currently has 1,017 rushing yards, behind only Michael Vick’s 1,039 yards in 2006 for most rush yards by a QB in a single season in NFL History.
Vick is ready for his record to be obliterated.
“It’s a cool moment in sports, especially for Lamar and also for the Baltimore Ravens,” Vick told the team’s official website. “It’s something that everybody can be excited about. Breaking that record, it’s something I can honestly say I didn’t think I’d see for a long time. When Lamar was coming out of college, we had conversations. I used to tell him, ‘Play your game, be you.’ But I couldn’t even foresee Lamar doing this so quickly. It shows if you’re with the right teammates, the right coaches, the right organization, what can happen.”
Odds are at some point Thursday night, likely early, Jackson will set the record. In his 20 career starts, only once has Jackson not generated at least 39 yards, and that was in Week 1’s blowout win over Miami (six yards on three carries).
The Jets run defense has been the most productive part of their team this season, ranking second in yards given up per game, but shutting down Jackson is a different beast.
The list of superlatives is long, so take a breath before you dive in:
» Jackson has a higher passer rating (109.2) than the average QB to win MVP (107.7) since 2000.
» Through 14 games, the Ravens‘ QB has 28 passing TDs and 35 offensive TDs this season (most in NFL). Six games with three-plus pass TDs (most in NFL). 109.2 passer rating this season (4th in NFL). 117.2 passer rating on 3rd down (3rd in NFL).
» 2,677 pass yards (20th in NFL) and 1,017 rush yards (9th) in 2019: First player with 2,500-plus passing yards and 1,000-plus rush yards in a season; first player to average 200-plus passing yards per game (205.9) and 60 rush YPG (78.2).
» On pace to become the first player in NFL history to record a 100-plus passer rating and 1,000-plus rush yards in the same season. (Vick only generated one season with a 100-plus passer rating: 2010 with the Philadelphia Eagles — 100.2.)
» Jackson leads NFL in pass TD (28) and leads all QBs in rush yards (1,017). The last QB to do so: 1994 HOF Steve Young (35 pass TD, 293 rush yards) — Young won NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP and 49ers won Super Bowl XXIX. The last two players to rank top 5 in passing TDs and lead QBs in rush yards won NFL MVP that season (Other: 2015 CAR Cam Newton).
» Ranks top 10 in rush yards (9th) and rush TDs (T-9th) this season — would be the second QB in NFL history to finish a season ranked top 10 in both (CRD Charlie Trippi, 1951).
» Jackson is on pace to become the second player since 1960 to finish in the top 10 in rushing yards and the top 5 among qualified QBs in passer rating, joining Randall Cunningham. Jackson: 1,017 rush yds (9th) and 109.2 passer rating (4th); 1990 PHI R. Cunningham: 942 rush yds (9th), 91.6 passer rating (5th).
» Jackson: 4 games with 100-plus rush yards (most by QB in season since 1950).
» Jackson and Ben Roethlisberger (2007) are only QBs to record multiple games with a perfect passer rating (min. 10 attempts) in a single season (since 1950) — Jackson recorded both of his games on the road (at MIA, at CIN).
The Lamar effect could have sweeping ramifications, with crusty old men who mold the game forced to consider what it could mean to actually utilize a field-tilting talent like Jackson at quarterback.
“This is a new era of football. If Lamar Jackson wins a Super Bowl, you’ll have so many kids wanting to be like Lamar Jackson,” Vick noted. “In fact, they already do. He’s a role model on and off the field. Kids of all color want to be like Lamar. They want to run the football like Lamar. To me, Lamar is already validated. Cam Newton is already validated. Russell Wilson is validated, doing his thing. You see more and more quarterbacks pulling it down and running. It’s part of the game. Aaron Rodgers pulls it down and runs. Josh Allen is pulling it down, running. It doesn’t matter what you look like. Just do it. Do your thing. That’s the best way to play the game. I played the way I played because it was the best way for me to be successful. My teammates knew I was willing to do whatever it took to move the chains. I see that in Lamar. I see that with all winners.”
Jackson is on pace to become the second QB since 1940 to lead the NFL’s No. 1 rush offense in rushing (1990 Eagles: Randall Cunningham).
Most times when a QB is running the ball, it’s because his team is trash, he’s running for his life and the rest of the operation is up in flames.
Jackson and Cardinals rookie QB Kyler Murray lead their teams in rush yards in 2019. Since 1940, 18 prior QBs have led a team in rush yards in a season, of those 13 missed the playoffs (72.2 percent), three lost in the first round of the playoffs, and the Eagles in 1988 and 2000 didn’t make it out of the Divisional Round.
The Ravens aren’t just running Jackson as window dressing or when the pocket breaks down. He’s the focal point of the offense, able to make professional athletes look like crumbling storefront manikins.
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Vick believes Jackson landing in Baltimore was key to the revolution.
“That was crucial,” he said. “I brought this up on FOX a couple of months ago. Tyrod had a great relationship with Roman when he was in Buffalo. I came to Baltimore last year to do a sit-down interview with Lamar and I see Greg Roman, I see (QB coach) James Urban. I said, ‘OK, I see what’s happening here.’ Now we all see it. If he had gone to a different place, they may have tried to throw Lamar into a different system. He could’ve done it, shown his scrambling ability when a play broke down. But it’s different when you have a coach whose expertise is the run game. And (Head Coach) John Harbaugh is a coach who’s going to insist that the defense is tight, that the whole ship stays air tight.”
Vick dismisses those who believe Jackson’s day atop the totem pole won’t last long because eventually he’ll get hurt — ala Cam Newton who has been dealing with persisting injuries in recent seasons.
“I’ll be honest, I never spoke to Lamar about protecting himself,” he said. “I don’t mean that in a negative way, but I didn’t want that to be the focal point of what he’s thinking about. He’ll protect himself his way. But I don’t want him to worry about getting hurt. Play your game. Personally, I think he’s going to be around for a long time. You’re going to get some nicks in this game. Injuries happen. To every player. Some things you may be able to play through, some you may not. That’s the sacrifice you make to play in the NFL. But bring everything you have to the table. Be the best version of himself. That’s what he’s doing.”
That version is MVP worthy, and tonight Jackson should take down Vick’s record.