The one thing Lamar Jackson has to do more than anything else is blow past silly narratives.
First it was the idea he could only succeed in the NFL as a receiver, even though he won the Heisman Trophy as a quarterback.
He proceeded to win the NFL MVP award during his second season in the league.
The latest narrative is that teams are suddenly figuring him out.
And that may have seemed like the case during the first half of Monday night’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Luckily for the Baltimore Ravens, games are more than just one half.
Lamar Jackson tonight 🤯
🔹 1st QB in NFL history to complete 85% of passes in 400-yard game
🔹 Highest comp % in a 40-pass game in NFL history (86.0%)
🔹 Franchise-record 442 pass yards
🔹 Overcame largest deficit of his NFL career (19) pic.twitter.com/7cvqpkAK4f
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 12, 2021
Jackson finished with 442 passing yards, four touchdowns, and 62 rushing yards.
Three other Ravens running backs combined for 24 yards.
Clearly, the Colts did not figure him out.
A Lame Narrative
What does it mean to figure Jackson out?
Sure, some defenses are going to do better against him than others.
Yet that is true for every single quarterback in the NFL.
There seems to be this idea that his running won’t work forever.
Once again, that is true because as he gets older, he will slow down.
But he is still only 24 years old and continues to make highlight-reel plays with his feet.
The Colts defense knew they would get a heavy dose of Jackson on the ground because the Ravens still have a makeshift group at running back.
He proceeded to lead the team in rushing and just carve up the Colts defense through the air.
Anyone who thinks Lamar Jackson isn't a great thrower of the football … well, that was Bradyesque. Anyone who believes the Ravens can't fall desperately behind and pass their way back into a game … well, behold. Greatest Lamar has ever thrown it.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) October 12, 2021
Jackson is playing at an MVP level at the age of 24.
He really has not had a bad performance all year and currently stands fifth in the NFL in passing yards.
So much for him not being a capable quarterback.
Oh, he is also eighth in the league in rushing.
Seeing those numbers and thinking he has been figured out is just a willful ignorance of the facts.
A Changing Position
Quarterback is an evolving position and there is no longer an NFL where maybe one or two quarterbacks are fantastic athletes.
The position is now filled by dynamic players all around the league.
The fact Jackson can run well does not mean he is limited to just doing that.
The same is true for someone like Kyler Murray, who would have been written off because of his height a decade or two ago.
In today’s NFL, coaches actually bring out the best in their players if the athleticism and potential is there.
That is true with the Ravens and Jackson and the end result is an offense that is nearly impossible to stop.
Opposing coaches thinking they have figured him out may be out of a job soon if they make that claim known.