Lamar Jackson dispatched of Michael Vick’s single-season quarterback rushing record on the Ravens’ first drive of Thursday Night Football. Then he started taking down records with his arm.
With five touchdown passes, Jackson tied Vinny Testaverde’s record for most touchdown passes in a single season with 33.
Jackson still has two more games to break it. Keep this in mind, too. Testaverde attempted a whopping 549 passes that season. Jackson has thrown just 370.
It just further illustrates how dominant Jackson has been with his legs and right arm this season. And judging by Jackson’s postgame reaction, it’s easy to see which record he’s more excited about.
“Throwing them. No running records – besides the little rushing record. But throwing, that’s amazing!” Jackson said. “That’s hats off to the tight ends, running backs, Pat Ricard the fullback, the receivers. It’s them, they’re catching the passes and scoring the touchdowns.”
Jackson continues to light it up in the red zone. He only threw 212 yards and completed 15 passes – but a third of them were for touchdowns.
“Yeah, he’s good at that,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson’s prowess in the red zone and extended red zone (20-35-yard range).
“Lamar is really patient. He hangs in there. He trusts his protection. He can also trust his ability to get away if the protection breaks down. And he’s a really accurate thrower in that range.”
Jackson entered Week 15 with the most touchdown passes in the NFL (28). He had two more than Seattle’s Russell Wilson – his top competition for MVP – and Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston.
With five more Thursday night, Jackson is pulling away from the leaders – in touchdowns and in the MVP race.
“I’ve been telling ya’ll since I don’t know how many weeks ago that he’s the MVP frontrunner,” running back Mark Ingram II said. “But now I’m going to tell ya’ll that he is the MVP.”
Jackson’s first touchdown was a 5-yard sling to rookie Miles Boykin. His second was a 1-yard flip to tight end Mark Andrews (after another touchdown was wiped off by penalty). Then Jackson started dropping dimes from further out – hitting Marquise Brown with a 23-yarder, then Seth Roberts with a 33-yarder. He capped it with a sidearm sling to the flats to Ingram for a 10-yard score.
But there were a couple points in the game when Jackson was visibly frustrated.
The first was when his team had to punt from its own 30-yard line in the first half. Late in the third quarter, with the Ravens at their own 29 and facing a fouth-and-1, Jackson was so annoyed that he waved the punt team off the field. For the record, Harbaugh had already decided he was going to go for it. Jackson hit Mark Andrews for a 36-yard gain, then threw his best pass of the night to Roberts for the touchdown five plays later.
“I think that was just building up until it had to come out,” Jackson said of his frustration. “I just felt like the game wasn’t going our way.”
Ingram got ticked off at one point too, spiking the football on the Ravens sideline when he was pushed out of bounds for a loss. The Ravens offense has high expectations. Five touchdowns? Multiple records? Forty-two points?
It’s not good enough.
“Every time we go out there, we want to score. We want to score touchdowns,” Ingram said. “When we’re not doing that to our abilities, our capabilities, guys get frustrated. It’s not frustrated with each other, it’s just frustrated with us not playing to our level.”