Jackson said Wednesday that the first time he thought about winning the Super Bowl was in that moment when he was drafted.
“I was sitting down, the last quarterback in my class. They believed in me – Ozzie [Newsome], Eric [DeCosta], those guys, the whole organization believe in me,” Jackson said. “And that’s what I’m going to bring.”
“He brought that vision about since he got drafted,” Snead said. “When you have a guy at the helm that has that vision … If the guys around him don’t have that vision, we have the wrong guys in the huddle. Everybody in the huddle has that same vision. All 11 guys see the Super Bowl in our near future, and it starts with Lamar.”
“To have the leader of your team doing that at a point where we’re at right now as a team, I think it just shows that’s how we should all be thinking too,” added fullback Patrick Ricard. “We believe in ourselves. I think the amount of success we’re having and Lamar is having, I think the Super Bowl is the ultimate goal and anything less is unacceptable at this point.”
But what Jackson did on Monday night checks every single box imaginable. He was spectacularly efficient in the passing game. His decision-making was spotless. And he was an absolute menace in the option game. Watching the Ravens, it seriously looks like Jackson is single-handedly putting really good defensive players and really good defensive coaches in a constant state of panic.
Here’s the crazy thing: He “only” had 264 yards from scrimmage against the Rams. He went 15-of-20 for 169 yards (and five touchdowns) and ran eight times for 95 yards. But he had an absolutely massive, unmistakable impact on everything out there.
Of the 21,928 offensive plays run this season (excluding spikes and kneels), 11% of them included motion at the snap.
The Ravens have taken it to another level, though, and it’s fueling their success. They have had a man in motion at the snap on 34% of their offensive plays this season, by far the most in the league.
So why is it so effective?
”[Defensive backs] are responsible for gaps or contain in the run game as well, and that motion can get them [out of the] correct gap,” ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky told me, reinforcing McVay’s comment on the effectiveness of pre-snap motion. Analyst Matt Bowen added, “With pre-snap motion or movement vs. man-coverage defenses, defensive backs have to process with speed to communicate vs. bunch or stack sets, realign to avoid pick/rub concepts and avoid busting calls in the secondary.”
Week 13 NFL picks: Why 49ers will cover against high-flying Ravens and more of Tom Fornelli’s best bets - Tom Fornelli
The Ravens are nearly a touchdown favorite at home against a San Francisco team that is 10-1. A San Francisco team that the Ravens could very well meet in the Super Bowl were they to get there. A San Francisco team with one of the best defenses in football. Now, I know the Niners have to do the dreaded West Coast to East Coast for an early game trip, but I’m not worried about it. I am concerned by Lamar Jackson, of course, but I also believe this San Francisco defense will give him more trouble than most. The Ravens just shouldn’t be favored by this much against another good team.
Prediction: Ravens 24, 49ers 20
NFL Week 13 picks, odds: Ravens run over 49ers, Cardinals stun Rams, Seahawks survive Vikings - Cody Benjamin
San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens
The way San Francisco has ridden its defense to a 10-1 start is mighty impressive. But no one’s playing like Lamar Jackson right now. This guy is video-game electric, except better. At home, with their ground game, the Ravens will win this potential Super Bowl preview.
Prediction: Ravens 29, 49ers 21