Lamar Jackson Is The MVP

Ravens 45 Rams 6

Jim Rome
November 26, 2019 - 9:21 am
Lamar Jackson

USA Today


Lamar Jackson is the MVP. I know that nobody wins the MVP in November and there’s still a month of football left, but Lamar Jackson is the MVP. And I say that knowing what Russell Wilson has done with Seattle and the absolutely absurd things that Christian McCaffrey and Michael Thomas are doing, but Lamar Jackson is the MVP. Just give him the trophy now.

They could’ve stopped the game in the second quarter last night and handed him the trophy and nobody would’ve minded.

264 yards from scrimmage. 9 for 9 passing and three touchdowns in the first half. 15 of 20 and 5 touchdowns for the game. And “the game” for Jackson was barely more than 3 quarters before he sat down.

But the numbers don’t do him justice. Because the numbers, even the final score of 45-6, don’t capture the complete and total humiliation Lamar Jackson inflicted on the Los Angeles Rams.

That is a proud Rams team. They were in the Super Bowl less than 10 months ago and they didn’t look like they belonged on the same field as the Ravens last night. They didn’t look like they belonged in the same sport as the Ravens. That was how thoroughly dominated they were by Lamar Jackson. They were playing for their entire season last night: they admitted coming in that it was a must-win game. And they still got carved. 

Jackson and the Ravens didn’t just beat the Rams, they had them completely fooled and completely guessing.

Listen to Eric Weddle after the game: “I kid you not. I wouldn’t lie to you. Half of the time, I didn’t know who had the ball. And so they were getting through the line and I had to go tackle them. So it just puts a lot of pressure on you.”

It puts a ton of pressure on you. The kind of pressure that no team is able to stop right now. The kind of pressure that makes Aaron Donald, one of the most dominant and impactful players to ever play, a total noon-factor.

Jackson threw for five TD passes in just over three quarters. Throwing from every arm slot you can imagine and some you can’t. And that doesn’t include his nearly 100 yards of rushing. It was a comical performance. Absurd. Stupid. Whatever you want to call, still won’t do justice to it. 

And one more thing before I get back to Jackson. Did you see this play?

Do you think Marcus Peters enjoyed that very much? Nobody has ever enjoyed anything more than Marcus Peters enjoyed that pick, that celebration, and the opportunity to bark at Jalen Ramsey after the game and talk junk all the way up the tunnel.

But that play and in fact all of last night is a very good reminder – as good as Lamar Jackson is, and right now he’s the best player in the league; fact. But know this: Baltimore’s defense is damn good too. Do not sleep on those guys. They get after you, they make you look bad, and then they party in your end zone. And they’ve just beaten Houston and LA by a combined score of 86-13.

But let’s get down to work here. Because there are certain things we’re done talking about, like we’re done talking about the dopes who wanted Jackson: to play running back or receiver. The dopes who said he could never sling it from the pocket. Those dopes, many of whom are paid good money to assess talent, are like people who believe the earth is flat. They’re centuries behind the times.

But there are a couple of other groups – there are the ones who are still clinging to the idea that Jackson is a fad and that the league will figure him out next season and this will all be over. I doubt it. And if the league does, he’ll probably adjust back. He’s 22. He’s barely started more than a full season of football in the NFL.

But even if this is a one-hit wonder, although after the second half of last year and 11 games of this year, that one-hit is getting pretty long, what do you care? Why not just enjoy this? Why do some of you want this guy to fail so badly?

After the first half, there was no reason to keep watching that game, but everyone who likes football did, because Lamar Jackson gave you a reason. He’s in the Patrick Mahomes-Aaron Rodgers territory of, you watch him every week because there’s a good chance you’re going to see something you’ve never seen before.

And then there’s the worst branch of the people who not only want him to fail, they can’t wait for him to get hurt. That special brand of loser already has his, “see, I told you so. I told you a guy like that can’t last in the NFL” tweets already saved in draft.

What is wrong with you? Take a good look in the mirror on that one, because you’re practically rooting for an injury. And that is just about the worst thing you can do.

I’m not saying you have to root for Lamar Jackson. You don’t. But don’t root for him to fail or to get injured just so you’ll be right. That just makes you look bad.

Especially when the people around him say things like what John Harbaugh told Jim Trotter: "Everybody has been trying to define leadership for years, but you know it when you see it. Lamar has genuine, unabridged humility. We have a saying: humility with a hard edge. He has all that. He's one of the most humble and yet at the same time most confident people I’ve ever met in my life. He's been raised the right way. Give his mom and his family a lot of credit."

You don’t have to love Lamar the way his teammates and everyone in that organization loves him. But feel free to enjoy this. Even if he’s doing it to your team, enjoy it. Because we’ve never seen anything like it before. Calling him the best player in the league, probably doesn’t do this guy justice: I’m not sure there’s ever been a guy like Lamar Jackson: everyone wants to compare him to Michael Vick or Randall Cunningham; but even those two couldn’t do the types of things Jackson is doing right now.