Make no mistake, Lamar Jackson is not happy about the 2019 season. Even though he had arguably one of the great seasons in NFL history, and certainly in recent history, as a dual threat leading one of the highest-scoring offenses of all time, the reality is the Baltimore Ravens failed to win a single playoff game following a 14-2 regular season.
By and large, that is what the focus of his comments has been since they lost to the Tennessee Titans, who would go on to lose to the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, a team that the Ravens had lost to in the regular season.
Still, he does recognize his own successes, leading the league in passing touchdowns, posting one of the highest touchdown percentages in NFL history in a 300-attempt season, and reinventing the concept of a running quarterback, rushing for over 1200 yards at seven yards per attempt with seven touchdowns.
He received 47 of the 50 first-team votes for the quarterback position when it came to being named the league’s first-team All-Pro quarterback. Last week, he also became just the second unanimous league MVP ever, following Tom Brady in 2010.
“It feels good when you can make those people eat their words”, he said, referring to the widespread skepticism that existed about his ability to play the quarterback position at a high level in the NFL, both prior to the draft in 2018 and even heading into the 2019 season.
There remain some skeptics about how far he can advance in terms of his throwing ability, and he himself has talked about the need to improve in that area, though he discussed it in terms of needing to improve in every area, every year, as the only way to get better.
Jackson did not put up eye-popping passing numbers, by any means. He only threw for 3127 yards, which ranked 22nd in the NFL. His 36 passing touchdowns ranks 30th all-time, but it would not even crack the top 10 of the past decade as teams continually throw the ball more and more, and score more points.
“I’m still young”, he said, now 23 years old. “I’ve still got a lot of work to do. I’m not really trying to dwell on what I just did. If I win a Super Bowl, you’ll probably see a lot more emotion”.
Jackson became the first player ever to throw for 3000 yards and rush for 1000 in the same season. He is one of only two players to rush for at least 900 yards in a 3000-yard season, the other being Randall Cunningham. Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III are the only other players to rush for at least 800 yards in a season in which they threw for 3000 or more yards.