As the Baltimore Ravens face a crossroads and begin to use Lamar Jackson more and more, the offensive identity could inherit a video game-like approach.
Everyone loves playing Madden Football, the video game. The belief that we can successfully run an NFL franchise as fans is enticing, as is taking over our favorite real-life players and using their skills to our own liking. It’s a fantasy world that traps our minds for hours at a time. But, what if I told you that Baltimore Ravens rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson could make this Madden world a reality?
In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, let me fill you in:
Lamar Jackson was drafted with the 32nd overall pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The intention was for him to one day become the captain and leader of the Ravens offense. With his incredible play-making ability, Jackson looked like something Baltimore had never seen before. While he was incredibly raw coming out of the University of Louisville, the Ravens intended to involve him in their offense and get some production out of him. The time is quickly coming, however, where Jackson will lead the offense as the starting quarterback.
With current starting quarterback Joe Flacco continuing to struggle, Jackson’s name is being yelled louder by the fan-base, and the front office is becoming more-and-more inclined to listen to them. During his time at Louisville, Jackson won the Heisman Trophy in 2016 because of his unreal athleticism and dynamism at quarterback. “Action Jackson” recorded 119 total touchdowns in his three seasons with the Cardinals.
Jackson’s calling card in college was his mobility, which was on full-display every Saturday. With over 4,100 rushing yards in college and an incredible 6.3 YPC (lost yards via sacks count against a quarterback’s YPC in college), everyone knew who Jackson was: the next coming of Michael Vick.
Lamar Jackson = Michael Vick?
Madden Football fans should know Vick’s name better than anyone considering he is easily the greatest Madden Football player of all-time. Many will recall is ridiculous speed and incredible deep-ball ability, always in awe of his skills. Vick was a literal cheat-code for Madden, and for Lamar Jackson to receive that praise is truly remarkable.
But, he’s earned it. Everything Jackson does as an athlete is special. We’ve seen it at the collegiate level and we’ve seen glimpses of his potential at the NFL level. Unfortunately, the Ravens have pigeonholed him offensively by making him a run-package quarterback only. But with a fire being lit under member of the coaching staff, the pressure to use Jackson more is becoming heavier and heavier on their shoulders.
Using Lamar Jackson on offense should be an extremely exciting thought for the coaches. His video game-like skills make him a weapon few NFL teams can relate to and prepare for. Look at how Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans has taken the league by storm with his mobility and passing ability. Jackson must improve as a passer, but he’s already ahead of the curve of Watson as a pure runner.
The 4-5 Baltimore Ravens are at a crossroads now and need to decide if they want to compete this year or wait for 2010. Regardless of the decision, getting Jackson on the field sooner rather than later is imperative for the team’s future. Based off everything we’ve seen, should Lamar Jackson reach his potential, this offense could make Madden Football a reality for Charm City.