Lamar Jackson is currently leading the Baltimore Ravens to such a slew of victories that the team is just a couple of games short from entering the AFC championship. The underdog team has not done this well for the last twenty years since in 2000 the team managed to take the victory against the New York Giants during the Super Bowl. But the Ravens have done surprisingly well this season and the reason why is quite clear. They now have a lineup of incredible players that are winning record after record. Notably, Jackson was the first player in NFL history to rush 1,000 yards from the quarterback position.
But who is this player who is bringing such success to his team? From tragic beginnings, Jackson has been incredibly lucky in his career. The exemplary quarterback was raised in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood as half an orphan. In fact, his grandmother passed away on the same day as he lost his father to a horrible car accident. The soon-to-be star of the NFL nonetheless went about pursuing his passion for football, learning to throw twenty yards by the age of eight. He played high school and college football, starting for the St Louis Cardinals.
But come 2018, Lamar was determined to enter the NFL as a quarterback. Due to his athleticism, it was recommended to him that he switch positions to become a running back, but he was certain of his decision. Jackson was thus selected thirty-second in the overall draft by the Baltimore Ravens, and the fifth quarterback selected that year. Come June 2018, this incredible player was signing his rookie contract which offered him close to $10 million per year with a $5 million signing bonus.
Jackson was thus ready to join the ranks of an underdog team. But little did they know that their luck was about to change. The 2018 season was one of the best that the Ravens ended up having in close to two decades. Lamar made his debut substituting for the existing quarterback, Joe Flacco, against the Buffalo Bills, where he helped destroy the team 47 to 3. But the best was yet to come.
In week 16 of the playoffs, Jackson heavily participated in the Los Angeles Chargers’ defeat in a 22 to 10 upset victory. He even completed 12 out of 22 passes for 204 yards as well as a touchdown. By week 17, the Cleveland Browns suffered a close defeat 26-24 when their quarterback, Baker Mayfield, failed to lead the team to triumph. This win clinched the AFC North title for the Ravens. 2018 was a great season for Jackson, who ended it with a bang of 1,021 passing yards, 6 passing touchdowns, and three interceptions.
But it was in the year 2019 that Lamar Jackson showed his true capabilities as an exemplary player. In the season-opener against the Miami Dolphins, Jackson went 17 out of 20 for 324 yards as well as 5 touchdowns. This thus earned him the title of youngest quarterback in history to achieve a perfect passer rating in the smashing 59-10 victory. He was also named AFC Offensive Player of the week as a result. By the end of the season, Jackson led the league in 36 passing touchdowns and rushed 1,206 yards.
Over the years, the Ravens have had few rivalries, though the Pittsburg Steelers and the New England Patriots have made the list. Games between the Ravens and Steelers nearly always come down to the wire, and both are known for their hard-hitting style of play. The rivalry with the Patriots was always more colorful and has included bitter losses and verbal abuse.