Lamar Jackson has won his first three starts and leads all rookies in winning percentage. However, he’ll have the toughest matchup of his young career in Week 14, facing off against the Kansas City Chiefs on the road.
Coming off of a 40-33 win against the Oakland Raiders, Kansas City currently sits atop the AFC with a 10-2 record. Led by Patrick Mahomes at quarterback — who leads the league in passing touchdowns (41) — the Chiefs are ranked number one in points per game (37.0).
The oft-discussed issue is how the Ravens are going to play keep away from the high-octane offense of the Chiefs. In recent weeks, Baltimore has been able to control the clock with Jackson’s ability to reinvigorate the running game. His average time of possession is 37:20 (stat courtesy of Russell Street Report’s Adam Bonaccorsi) — which is nearly two-thirds of an entire game.
When a defense is able to stay fresh and stay off of the field, they tend to play better when they are on the field. Baltimore in particular has held true to this, allowing 21, 17 and 16 points respectively in the past three games with Jackson at quarterback. Despite the success of the defense with Jackson on the field, he doesn’t think about how his play affects them.
“That’s not my job to think about that,” Jackson said. “I’m trying to score points on offense. So, whatever it takes, we’re going to try to help them out – keep the clock running, keep the ball in our possession.”
Baltimore has faced a quarterback that is able to extend plays in Ben Roethlisberger. Mahomes has been able to do that and has taken off in his first year at the helm for Kansas City. His ability and zest for the game has been compared to Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre. Jackson noticed his ability at a young age, going back to when they were at camp together.
“He’s a great quarterback,” Jackson stated of his quarterback contemporary. “I was at a Steve Clarkson [quarterback] camp with him. I’ve seen him throw. He’s a great quarterback. He’s awesome. I was his backup.”
When going up against the Chiefs, Baltimore will have to score touchdowns — plain and simple. When heading on the road against the top scoring offense in the NFL, no team can afford to trade blows against them. Baltimore cannot afford to leave points on the field because Kansas City can put points on the board in a hurry.
“No, I wouldn’t say it’s ‘pressure’ — that’s just our job,” said Jackson. “I would say me — not even my teammates — they’ve been doing a great job out there. I just feel like we need to get the ball in the end zone, get the ball to the receivers as much as we can and just finish the runs and stuff like that, and we have.”
Chances are that Jackson will start on Sunday, making it his fourth consecutive start. If he can capitalize on playing his game of ball control football, the Ravens have a successful blueprint that could lead them to the playoffs.