The Baltimore Ravens have had a fairly simple offensive gameplan since drafting quarterback Lamar Jackson and getting him into the starting lineup: get out of the way and watch him go.
Okay, that’s not entirely true—far from it, actually—but the fact that he is a central part of every aspect of their offense is undeniable as the most dynamic dual-threat perhaps in NFL history. After all, he is doing things that nobody else has ever done before.
After rushing for 82 yards against the New Orleans Saints this week, and throwing a touchdown pass, he became the first player in NFL history to record 4000-plus rushing yards while also throwing 100 or more touchdown passes in any five-season stretch. Jackson is in his fifth season now with 58 career starts in 67 games played.
Finding rookie tight end Isaiah Likely from 24 yards out in the first quarter for the first score of the game, Jackson hit the century mark for touchdowns thrown. He is one of 13 quarterbacks to have thrown at least 100 touchdown passes since 2018, the year he was drafted. His 23 rushing touchdowns are second only to Josh Allen among those quarterbacks in that same timeframe.
Truth be told, the full list of players with both 100 touchdown passes and 4000 rushing yards in an entire career is a short one, because not many quarterbacks have that many rushing yards. He is one of just six players to ever do it, joining Cam Newton, Steve Young, Mike Vick, Randall Cunningham, and Russell Wilson. And none of them put up those numbers in just a five-year span. He just surpassed Young for the fifth-most rushing yards by a quarterback.
With nine games left to play and 4308 career rushing yards, it’s not entirely out of the picture that Jackson could even hit 5000 rushing yards by the end of the season, though he would have to average 77 yards per game to do so.
Yet he has rushed for at least 77 yards in 25 of his 58 career starts, or 43 percent, and in 2019 he averaged over 80 rushing yards per game on the season, so it is within his abilities to do. He is averaging almost 71 rushing yards per game so far in 2022. He also averaged just under 80 rushing yards per game in the seven games he started as a rookie in 2018.
This all would be ephemeral, of course, were it not for the fact that Jackson’s ability to be a dual threat both with his arm and his legs were not the fundamental means by with the Ravens have gone about, very successfully, winning games over the last five years. Barring the 8-9 aberration last season in which Jackson missed four of their losses, they have been very successful, going 43-15 in games he has started.
Oh, and he also has 11,735 passing yards in his career in addition to his 100 passing touchdowns, paired against only 37 career interceptions. He may not be without some imperfections, but that he is one of the great players of the day should be undeniable.