The Baltimore Ravens are currently considered heavy favorites to make the Super Bowl after demolishing the upstart Houston Texans last week. Their position as favorites were further solidified after the Kansas City Chiefs barely eked out a win over the Buffalo Bills in the other AFC Divisional playoff.
However, QB Lamar Jackson would be the last Raven you would see tooting his own horn. He expects his upcoming duel with Chiefs signal-caller Patrick Mahomes to be a match for the ages.
Jackson takes Mahomes seriously
ESPN’s Jamison Hensley reports that Jackson isn’t writing the two-time Super Bowl champion off ahead of their titanic battle. He uses boxing as an analogy for their upcoming matchup:
“I don’t like competing against him at all,” Jackson said Wednesday.
Jackson has lost three of four meetings with Mahomes, his most losses against any quarterback (regular season or playoffs).
“He’s a great quarterback. [He’s] definitely a Hall of Famer. It’s a no-brainer,” Jackson said. “I believe [it’s] just two greats — up-and-coming greats — just going toe-to-toe, like a heavyweight fight.”
On the other hand, Mahomes isn’t taking Jackson lightly either. While this is the first time the two will meet in the playoffs, he predicts this postseason bout will be the start of a long-standing rivalry between their teams:
“I know we’re going to play in a lot of games like this as our careers go on,” Mahomes said, “and I’m sure this will be the first of many.”
Jackson as the Ravens’ key man
Everyone and their mother know Lamar Jackson has always been the key cog in John Harbaugh’s offense ever since he was drafted with the last pick of the 2018 Draft’s first round.
He remains a dangerous and dynamic runner that linebackers cannot relax from. He finished the regular season with 821 rushing yards and five TDs while leading the entire league in rushing yards per attempt at 5.5.
Lamar’s most impressive improvement was under center, however. 3678 passing yards is a career high for him, showcasing his remarkable improvement as a passer under center. His 24 passing TDs and seven picks is slowly seeing him return to his form during his MVP winning season. His completion percentage (67.2), yards gained per game played (229.9), and interception rate (1.5) are the best they’ve ever been.
Jackson will be a nightmare of an assignment for Andy Reid’s coaching staff, and he will do everything he could to bring a Super Bowl back to Charm City for the first time since 2013.