Lamar Jackson and Joe Flacco were comparative passers as rookies
Bringing the conversation to 2019:
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The point to take home here is that Lamar Jackson’s rookie passing stats look a lot like Flacco’s. If the Ravens had the confidence that Flacco could become their franchise quarterback in 2008, they have to be over the moon with Jackson. Jackson has Olympic worthy speed to go along with his talents as a passer. Jackson has strengths to counter balance his weaknesses. Flacco’s first touchdown may have been on a long scramble, but he wasn’t going to make it as a dual threat quarterback.
Jackson is an entry level NFL passer and throwing the ball in the NFL is the most underrated challenge in sports. Jackson is starting at a similar place as Flacco was in during the 2008 season. The difference here is that Jackson has seven games as a starter under his belt and he knows he can make a difference with his running ability one way or another. Jackson for all intents and purposes is still a rookie, but he now knows what to expect at the NFL level.
John Harbaugh used the start of the Flacco era to generate the best run the franchise has ever seen. The 2008 Ravens started out with a quarterback who was solid but needed a great defense and a great run game. When Flacco became a more NFL proven passer, the Ravens continued to take steps toward a championship. Five years later, the Ravens had been to five playoff trips and had hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. Harbaugh knows how to win with a quarterback learning the job and his team is equipped to win with the run game and great defense. This could be the start of another great run for the Ravens, this time with a super fast quarterback.