Does the best quarterback in the NFL reside in the AFC North? That’s what Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh seems to think about his own passer, or at least where he believes he should be when we’re talking about this subject a year from now.
Lamar Jackson is already coming off of just the second unanimous MVP selection in NFL history. He set new standards for dual-threat quarterbacks by rushing for over 1200 yards, while simultaneously leading the league with 36 touchdown passes, executing an efficient passing game.
Said Harbaugh about his third-year quarterback while appearing on The Fan, “the standard’s really high. The bar is really high, and I expect great progression, great steps, in a very positive way. Lamar Jackson’s a worker. He’s got great drive. He’s a self-starter, and he wants to be the best. When you work with someone like that, you can’t help but get excited and enthusiastic”.
“The sky’s the limit, and we’re not sitting here parsing our words”, he went on to say. “We’re not gonna sit here talking about underpromising and overdelivering and all that stuff. We’re shooting for the moon here, and I expect him to do everything he can to be the best quarterback in the league. That’s what he’s going to try to do, and we’re going to do everything we can to help him do that”.
So basically, his approach appears to be to go all-in on Jackson in all fields, including in the media, letting it be known that he has every confidence in the world that there is not a better football player in the league than the one that he has under center.
As a starter, Jackson is so far 19-3 in his career during the regular season, though he has gone 0-2 thus far in two postseason games. While his end-of-game numbers might look promising in those postseason starts, they are the byproduct of a team in a big hole trying too late to claw its way out.
Jackson only attempted 401 passes last season, completing 265 for 3127 yards. He averaged a touchdown pass on nine percent of his throws, easily the highest in the league. He also only threw six interceptions, three of which came in one game against the Steelers.
According to the advanced stats from Pro Football Reference, Jackson cut down his percentage of ‘bad’ passes from 20.7 to 17.5, with ultimately 76 percent of his pass attempts being on target, which removes spikes and throwaways and accounts for drops.