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Ravens MVP of the week: Lamar Jackson

NFL: New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens shocked the world on Sunday Night Football when they took down the previously undefeated New England Patriots in convincing fashion. The Ravens offense gashed the number-one ranked defense of the Patriots on the ground, finishing with 210 rushing yards. The spearhead of the offense’s success was, as usual, quarterback Lamar Jackson.

In just his second year, Jackson has risen to the top of NFL MVP discussions, although quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks remains the favorite at the moment. Jackson has continually proven to be the best athlete on the field week in and week out, and that was certainly the case yet again against New England.

Jackson scored the first touchdown of the day after marching down the field on the game’s opening drive. After a neutral zone infraction penalty against the Patriots gave Baltimore’s offense a new set of downs, Jackson ran it in for his first of three touchdowns on the day.

Jackson’s second touchdown was a pass to tight end Nick Boyle. Jackson displayed willingness to sit in the pocket and go through all of his progressions before finding Boyle for the easy score. His final touchdown came on the ground once again, although he was aided by right tackle Orlando Brown Jr., who helped pull Jackson into the end zone.

Jackson made several key plays in the passing game as well. With only a four-point lead after leading by 17-0 to start the game, Baltimore faced a critical third down. On 3rd-&-5, Jackson avoided a potential three-and-out by delivering a perfect pass to tight end Mark Andrews over the head of safety Terrance Brooks for an 18-yard pick up. New England went with an all-out blitz on the play, but Jackson remained poised under pressure to deliver his best pass of the night.

New England’s defense had feasted on young quarterbacks all season. Jackson changed that with his performance, opening the eyes of many in the process. Jackson finished the game 17-23 for 163 yards and a touchdown through the air while rushing for 61 yards and two touchdowns on 16 attempts, earning him AFC Offensive Player of the Week.

With several of the NFL’s top teams coming up on the schedule, such as the Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, and Los Angeles Rams, Jackson has a shot to legitimize his case to be the NFL’s 2019 MVP.