In the Super Bowl era, only two quarterbacks have ever thrown at least seven touchdowns passes without throwing an interception while completing 70 percent of their passes or better in the first two games of a season.
Both of them did it this year. And they’ll face off next week. They are Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs…and Lamar Jackson, of the Baltimore Ravens.
Lamar Jackson & Patrick Mahomes are the only QBs in the Super Bowl era to have a 70+ comp pct, 7+ pass TD & 0 INT over the first two games of a season
Jackson: 71.9 comp pct, 7 TD, 145.2 passer rating
Mahomes: 71.4 comp pct, 7 TD, 136.3 rating
They’ll go head-to-head in Week 3 pic.twitter.com/gWxbzsFdWr
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) September 17, 2019
Mahomes is coming off an MVP season as a second-year player in which he threw for over 5000 yards and 50 touchdown passes. So far this season, he has completed 55 of 77 pass attempts for 821 yards, which leads the NFL, averaging 9.1 yards per attempt, with seven touchdown passes.
Jackson has gotten off to a superb start in his second season, completing 41 of 57 pass attempts for 596 yards, also with seven touchdown passes. In addition to his output in the passing game, he has contributed with 126 rushing yards.
And the Chiefs will host the Ravens on Sunday afternoon, pitting two of the hottest and most exciting teams in the NFL against one another. Both Jackson and Mahomes, a pair of former first-round draft picks, have their teams off to 2-0 starts and looking strong offensively. Neither of them have really been tested against a quality opponent yet, however. That changes next week.
Jackson is only preparing for the 10th start in his career in the regular season. He has gone 8-1 in his previous nine starts. And the only defeat was to the Chiefs. “It really haunts me”, he recently told the Ravens’ website. “I really hate losing”.
His numbers were not awful in that game. In fact, he did throw two touchdown passes without being intercepted. He only completed 13 of 24 pass attempts, however, for a total of 147 yards. Mahomes, meanwhile, completed 35 of 53 attempts for 377 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, edging out a 27-24 win.
“He doesn’t really dwell on the positives too much”, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said of his young starting franchise quarterback. “He dwells on the areas of improvement, and we appreciate that”.
He has shown significant improvement as a passer from his first season to his second, without question, though it’s still only two games into the year. Still, he has matched the total number of touchdown passes he had all of last season.
The next step is matching up with a worthy opponent, a quarterback who is both talented and established. So far, he’s beaten a team that is actively tanking and a team who had to release its best offensive player shortly before the season began.