These Ravens Are Likeable

This team is a blast.

Jim Rome
December 13, 2019 - 9:54 am
Lamar Jackson

USA Today

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There was only one reason to watch last night’s Jets-Ravens game. Well, two reasons.  You got down. And bet the game. And the other reason. And the other reason is Not because the Jets had a chance, they didn’t. Not because the game would be close, it wasn’t. 

It was because of Lamar Jackson. And he delivered. Again. Because that’s what he does. 

After Mark Ingram opened the scoring with a touchdown in the first quarter, Lamar went to work.

15 of 23 for 212 yards and five touchdown passes. 8 carries for 86 yards.

He broke Michael Vick’s single-season rushing record and that was an afterthought because of some of how he was slinging it. There is nothing more tired than non-football coaches and players talking about “spinning it” and “throwing dimes,” but my guy was spinning it and he was throwing dimes.

And if you think he’s still a running quarterback, I’m not going to say that last night should’ve answered that question. Because if you thought he was still a running quarterback at this point in the season, you’re just an idiot. 

And you’re missing an amazing show. He leads the league in touchdown passes. By 7. And if your response to that is to say that he’s already played one more game than everyone else, then you really are a next level moron. 

He already has 7 games with three touchdown passes. He has three games with five touchdown passes, one away from tying Peyton Manning’s record. We’re well past the point of saying not bad for a wide receiver or running back, because that’s damn good for a quarterback: like so good, he’s doing thing that have never been done by anyone who has played the position. 

Breaking Michael Vick’s rushing record and having a look at one of Peyton’s passing records in the same season? Is that any good? 

And that is why he is the MVP. Not in the conversation. Not leading the field. He’s the MVP now. You can give him the trophy anytime you’d like. Because as well as everyone else as played and some dudes have put up incredible seasons, they just have the bad luck of doing that when Lamar Jackson is doing this. This guy could sit out the rest of the regular season and he’s still the MVP.

And as I’ve said before, the most amazing thing about Jackson isn’t what he does, it’s what he could do. It’s the fact that he’s appointment television. Like I think the phrase FOMO is ultra-lame: but he’s the epitome of that: fear of missing out: even in a blowout, you can’t turn off the game; not as long as Jackson is still in it. 

The final score was 42-21, but it wasn’t that close. That game was over at halftime. But just like he’s done numerous times before during this season, you stick around because you might see something you’ve never seen before. 

And you did, because that's what Lamar does. 

Alson you notice I’ve only mentioned the team they were playing one time so far? Because it was almost like that team wasn’t there. And that’s a good thing. 

Normally, if you’re talking about a Thursday night game involving these New York Jets, I’m looking for something else to do. Maybe read a book. Or watch a movie. Or work on a crossword puzzle: something I don’t think I’ve ever actually done. Something.  Anything. Other than waste my time watching the Jets. 

I see those five words: New York Jets Thursday Night and I’m pulling a Le’Veon Bell; throwing on my orange leather pants and I’m hitting the lanes.

Unless they’re playing the Ravens. The Ravens are so good, they just made a Jets game watchable. On a night where they won the AFC North, that is their greatest accomplishment. They’ve ripped off 10 in a row, they won their division, and they’re doing things that have never been done: like getting me to willing watch a Jets game. We all have our own code; our own value system: mine includes never, ever watching the Jets play. Except when they play the Ravens. Because the Ravens are not only good: not only Super Bowl good, they’re a blast: they’re likable.

There have been other teams that were good that were just miserable, no names mentioned but they allegedly like making documentaries about advance scouts. They make life a humorless grind. No one cracks a smile: no one is having fun: hell, no one is even allowed to talk. That’s not the Ravens.  . 

Unlike those teams, this team IS A BLAST. Even if you’re a fan of the opposing team, you have to admit that. They are so likable. You don’t have to be miserable trolls to play this game. It’s game. You’re living a dream: it should be fun.

They’re so fun, you shouldn’t just stick around for the second half of a blowout, you should stick around for the postgame interview. 

Normally, the postgame interview is fine. That’s about as good as it can get. With a few rare exceptions, like when Steve Smith or Bart Scott gets a postgame interview, then it will be memorable. And Aaron Rodgers has had some great ones as well. But in general, the best they can be is just ok. 

But again, not with the Ravens and not last night. Because that postgame interview is an absolute blast with Lamar and Mark Ingram and a cameo from Matthew Judon. 

Everyone needs a wing man like Mark Ingram... I don’t care what you do, you need someone like that guy in your corner, hyping you, getting you fired up.