The Baltimore Ravens took a massive gamble when they traded back up into the first round of April’s draft to select Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. With the rookie’s first regular season now in the rear view mirror and a wild card playoff game coming up on the docket, it’s fair to say that it’s paid off pretty handsomely so far.
An even further confirmation of that came on Thursday when it was announced the now starting quarterback of the Ravens is the offensive rookie of the month for December:
The NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month: @Lj_era8 ❗️❗️ pic.twitter.com/hewI3aq7Pj— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 3, 2019
Jackson certainly has his eyes on a larger prize right now and will almost surely deflect any credit back to his teammates as he’s notably done over his unprecedented two month run of success, but this is a very nice pelt to add to his wall all the same. It’s also pretty impressive considering the competition he was going up against; Giants’ running back Saquon Barkley has been incredible all season, and Jackson’s fellow AFC North rookie signal caller Baker Mayfield just broke the record for touchdown passes by a first year player.
He beat them and presumably others out by getting it done in different ways, rushing and passing. Over the course of the month he had four touchdowns through the air with a 90 passer rating, and really made his hay on the ground with 366 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
This led to the team going 3-1 throughout December with their only loss coming in an overtime thriller at top seeded Kansas City. This was enough to secure Baltimore’s first playoff berth since 2014, and their first division title since 2012.
Jackson still has some work to as a passer to continue to improve heading into next season, but based on what we’ve seen and heard regarding his attitude and work ethic, there’s no reason to think he can’t make even more strides. Hopefully he does so, and this is just the first of many accolades he receives through the course of his career.