The Baltimore Ravens made a decision in Week 18 that could cost Lamar Jackson the NFL MVP for the 2023 season. Jackson came into Week 18 as a favorite to win the award after his incredible performance during the Ravens’ blowout win over the Miami Dolphins on New Year’s Eve.
As Mike Garafolo with the NFL Network notes, the Ravens’ decision Wednesday to bench Jackson in Week 18 will effectively end the quarterback’s chances to pad his stats before the end of the regular season.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 3, 2024
Jackson has had an incredible 2023 season.
Lamar Jackson's remarkable regular season is over:
• 307/457 (67%)
• 3,678 passing yards
• 821 rushing yards
• 29 total TDs
• 7 INTs
• 13-3 record
• AFC's No. 1 seed
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 3, 2024
The Baltimore Ravens put Jackson’s MVP at risk
But missing a game can affect the outcome of the MVP race. We saw that this season with Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Hill was a popular MVP candidate in November and December before he sustained an ankle injury that made him miss the Dolphins Week 15 win against the New York Jets.
Missing the Jets game cost Hill his best chance to get to 2,000 receiving yards this season. His odds to win the MVP plummeted after the Jets game. Brock Purdy’s chances to win the MVP were hurt after his four-interception performance that allowed Jackson and the Ravens to defeat the 49ers.
Dak Prescott has the second-best odds to win the MVP heading into Week 18. It’s possible voters could give Prescott the nod over Jackson if the Dallas Cowboys quarterback has an elite performance over the Washington Commanders on Sunday.
After all, Prescott has over 4,000 yards passing, 32 touchdown passes, and eight interceptions (one more interception than Jackson). Prescott has added another two touchdowns on the ground, giving him six more total touchdowns than Jackson heading into Week 18. Prescott should have better total numbers than Jackson in terms of yards and touchdowns after the Commanders game.
Jackson will lose a chance to prove his abilities against the fierce Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense in Week 18. While voters are still more likely to choose Jackson as their MVP, it’s possible the Ravens’ decision to keep Jackson healthy for the playoffs could cost the quarterback his second NFL MVP.
But the quest for Jackson’s first Super Bowl win is worth the sacrifice.
For More Football News:
Follow me on Twitter at @JordanSig. You can also reach out to Jordan Sigler via email at email@example.com. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in college and NFL news, click here!