Lamar Jackson announced himself to the NFL world in the opening week of the 2019 season with a historic performance in a blowout win. Jackson rode that wave to become the league’s youngest MVP in history, setting incredible expectations for 2020. Jackson in the encore opening weekend 2020 performance: 20 of 25, 275 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a 152.1 passer rating during a 38-6 blowout victory over the Cleveland Browns. Even though Jackson led the league in passing touchdowns (36) and touchdown percentage (9.0) last season, the MVP is convinced he’s made serious strides as a passer heading into 2020. Watch out NFL. 

“[It’s] just dedication,” Jackson said. “Coach ‘Urb [Ravens quarterbacks coach James Urban] is doing a great job – the QB drills, being consistent, even though sometimes, we might just repeat it, just to keep that dialed in in our heads and keep my body dialed in.”

Jackson became the first quarterback in NFL history to produce at least three games with 3+ touchdown passes and have a 150+ passer rating (minimum 10 attempts) during his first three seasons. In 23 career regular season starts, Jackson has thrown at least three touchdown passes nine times. In those starts, he has produced 12 games with at least a 100 passer rating (Baltimore is 11-1 in those games). 

In his last nine regular season games, Jackson has completed 70.6% of his passes for 1,752 yards, and 28 touchdowns to just one interception for a 133.1 passer rating. He also has 675 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

“It’s just hard work and dedication,” Jackson said. “It started with the COVID, our guys coming down [to South Florida in the offseason], trying to get some chemistry down pat. The quick turnaround with [training] camp, we started getting chemistry there, and our guys just dialed in, and they helped me out a lot, made my job a lot easier.”

The Ravens are 20-3 since Jackson made his first career start in Week 11 of the 2018 season, the best record in the NFL. Hard to believe Jackson may actually be getting better, but he leads the league in yards per attempt (11.0), yards per completion (13.8), passer rating (152.1), and net yards gained per pass attempt (9.67) after Sunday’s Week 1 slate. 

“Lamar did a really good job, and our offensive line did a good job of creating time in the pocket which allowed the coverage to expand,” said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. “It wasn’t like we were over top of them. I thought they did a good job of keeping the plays in front, but the coverage expanded so much. Our guys worked hard to get open. Lamar has amazing vision and can throw on the move. He sees the field so well. To me, those are the keys to that.”

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