Lamar Jackson has caught the ire of some Ravens fans because of his poor playoff performance. He is on a better pace than you may think:
Stats were obtained at Pro-football-reference.com
Lamar Jackson just finished his rookie year. He took over for the 10th game of the season and he never looked back. Five rookie quarterbacks were selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft and Jackson was the only one to start a playoff game. Jackson may not be the most polished passer of the 2018 crop of quarterbacks, however he isn’t lagging behind.
Baker Mayfield had an unbelievable rookie season. He had 3,725 yards in his rookie season and had three games where he had well over 300 yards. Mayfield is the exception, not the rule. Josh Rosen, who was my number one quarterback in his class, struggled. Rosen had only four games where he passed for 200 yards or more and totaled just 2,278 passing yards in 13 starts.
Sam Darnold had 2,865 yards and had some great moments for the Jets. That being said he had 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions and more downs than ups over the course of the season. Josh Allen got hurt and started just 12 games.
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Allen was fairly impressive as a passer and he had over 2,000 yards. Still the Bills didn’t win a lot of games and he threw two more picks than he had touchdowns.
Jackson is clearly behind the other quarterbacks if you look only at passing statistics. Jackson passed for just over 1,200 yards and had six touchdowns and three picks. Jackson also contributed on the ground. He chipped in 695 yards and five touchdowns as a runner. So in seven regular season games Jackson put up a 6-1 record and 1,895 total yards. You can make the argument that Jackson’s total production is on par with his fellow rookies.
Jackson was the biggest change of the make up of the Ravens from their 4-5 start. The 6-1 record that the Ravens put up puts big points in Jackson’s corner. If all the rookies from this draft class were lighting the world on fire it may be different. If Jackson didn’t have a 6-1 record in the regular season, it may be different. Looking at other rookie quarterbacks in the league should give a good perspective on Jackson’s progress.
The fact of the matter is that Jackson has a ton of potential. He has to develop, but there is no reason to believe he won’t. Jackson isn’t a finished product. Jackson shouldn’t be held to a standard that players like Rosen and Darnold can’t even meet. Mayfield is proving to be the cream of the quarterback crop, but Jackson can still catch up. Fans need to let quarterbacks grow into the position. Jackson is doing just fine.