When the books opened on the 2022 NFL season, Jackson was notably not among the highest names to win league MVP. DraftKings Sportsbook gave him +2,800 odds to win. Since training camp and the weeks following, Jackson’s slashed the odds to narrowly trailing Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (+300) and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (+600).
The second week of June saw the line move from +2,800 to +2,100, in what feels like a correction to a mistake. Maybe the drafting of center Tyler Linderbaum, tight ends Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar and signing tackle Morgan Moses had something to do with it. Nonetheless, DraftKings started to believe.
It took one game before the odds to cut down again, a theme recurring through the first three weeks. Jackson’s MVP odds fell to +1,600 after going 17-of-30 for 213 yards and three touchdowns and one interception.
The next week, they fell by 400 more. Even with a loss, the linemakers couldn’t ignore Jackon’s superstar affair against the Dolphins, going 21-of-29 for three touchdowns and adding another 119 yards and a rushing touchdown.
After his latest outing, wrecking the New England Patriots defense, Jackson finds himself tied for the third-best odds with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (+700). Jackson leads the league in touchdown passes (10) and has combined for 12.
The only team with more Total TD than Lamar Jackson... is Baltimore pic.twitter.com/AvPCm1N6zG— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) September 26, 2022
After three games, Jackson has accounted for 85% of the Ravens’ total offensive yardage, utterly dominating in a fashion we’ve never seen from him. He’s also leading the No. 1 offense in DVOA, according to Football Outsiders. The next best, the Miami Dolphins, ranks nearly seven points lower.
Pundits across the NFL have recognized Jackson’s brilliance to begin the 2022 season and have shared their thoughts, including ESPN’s Ryan Clark and Dan Orlovsky.
“Lamar Jackson is playing the best ball he has ever played in his life. … There is no player in the league that is asked to do more for his team, but is delivering at a higher, more elite rate than Lamar Jackson,” Clark said. “He’s not only in the MVP conversation; he is setting a new quarterback market every time he steps on the field. For all the things that we said about the young guns that were coming up: ‘Oh, Joe Burrow’s better; Oh, Justin Herbert’s better.’ It looks different, but it’s not better. Lamar Jackson is the scariest player at the position in the entire world.”
“He’s accounting for 87 percent of the No. 1 offense in the NFL,” Orlovsky said. “He won the MVP in 2019; he’s playing better and doing more than he did that year. I picked Lamar before this season and there’s no reason that I don’t believe that Lamar is going to be the MVP of the NFL come the end of season.”