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The Baltimore Ravens have become one of the best rushing teams in the league thanks to their quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has, in just two seasons, basically reinvented the way the run/pass option (RPO) offense is executed.
With Jackson, the Ravens get a QB with rare quickness and speed, plus throw in his high football IQ and accurate arm and you end up with a team leader who gives Baltimore a legitimate chance to win games consistently and make the postseason.
With their run game and defense both improved by the front office over the offseason, the Ravens have once again positioned Jackson and company to play football in January, so we examine the predictions and odds of this talented 23-year old’s 2020 total passing yards and touchdowns.
Odds taken 17 June, 2020, from DraftKings
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The reason this stat is a tough one to predict for Jackson is that he and his Ravens feature a rushing attack, so these total passing yards will be directly affected by that offensive imbalance.
Because Jackson is young and new to the NFL and he favors the run over the pass, this is stat is a mystery, though last season he easily beat the over by 10 touchdowns.
The 6’2”, 212-pound Jackson was so good in 2019 that on more than one occasion, he led his Ravens to such a dominant second-half lead that he sat out the fourth quarter and let his backup, Robert Griffin, have some fun playing time.
In 2019, Jackson was selected to play in the Pro Bowl, he was First-team All-Pro, he became the NFL passing touchdowns leader with 36 of them and won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award for that season, though for the second time in a row he could not lead his team to a postseason win.
In the regular season, Jackson’s numbers were undeniably impressive – he completed 265-of-401 passes for 3,127 yards and 36 touchdowns with just 6 interceptions while carrying the ball 176 times for 1,206 yards and 7 touchdowns, a dual-threat that effective rarely seen at the quarterback position.
The Baltimore Ravens’ rushing attack was ranked number one last season after averaging 206.0 yards per game running as a team in the regular season and totaling 3,296 yards on the ground altogether.
Jackson was a big part of that run game plan, as was running back Mark Ingram, the veteran the Ravens had picked up before the 2019 season who posted 202 carries for 1,018 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging an impressive 5.0 yards per carry.
The Ravens’ front office went all-in on their rushing attack this offseason by using their first-round pick in the NFL draft to select OSU star running back J.K. Dobbins, who will most likely contribute immediately and give Baltimore yet another potent threat out of the backfield.
It wasn’t too long ago that few football fans paid attention to the AFC North, but now it has become a quarterback’s division, each of the four teams now with a player under the center who, like Jackson, will be fun to watch and who could lead his team to the postseason.
Baltimore has Jackson, the Pittsburgh Steelers once again have “Big” Ben Roethlisberger who is returning from having serious surgery on the elbow of his throwing arm, and the Cleveland Browns have Baker Mayfield, who is desperate to prove himself NFL worthy after his talent mysteriously disappeared during a sophomore slump that shocked most of the football world.
And the struggling Cincinnati Bengals even have a quarterback worth watching, with rookie sensation Joe Burrow now a part of their roster, so Jackson and the Ravens must again dominate the regular season and the AFC North because the race to the postseason in that division just got competitive.
Pick: Take the under on total passing yards but take the over on total touchdowns, since Dobbins will most likely get a lot of rookie touches and that will pull some of those passing stats away from Jackson.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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