Lamar Jackson was historically dominant in 2019 en route to a unanimous MVP award. How can he follow up that performance in 2020?
A league-leading 36 touchdown passes and 43 total touchdowns. An NFL record 1,206 quarterback rushing yards on 176 carries. Guiding his team to a league-best 14-2 record, including a 12-game winning streak. This was the 2019 season that Lamar Jackson gave the Baltimore Ravens.
Such a performance will go down as one of the greatest individual seasons in NFL history. If not for a one-and-done playoff run it may have been the greatest ever.
So how does one follow up such a campaign?
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For starters, it all begins with coming out with something to prove. Lamar Jackson is 19-3 as a full-time starter in the regular season with two AFC Championship crowns. In the post-season, however, he’s 0-2. If Jackson wants to truly take a step forward, he’ll need to do it in the playoffs and not just the regular season.
Focusing on following up his regular-season performance, Lamar Jackson will need to continue progressing as a passer. Jackson was very efficient in 2019, despite what groupthink will tell you, completing 66.1% of his passes with a 6:1 touchdown/interception ratio and an average of 7.8 YPA. It’ll be hard to replicate those stats, but if he can maintain a completion percentage north of 62% and continue throwing touchdowns at a significantly higher rate than interceptions (perhaps 3:1 or 4:1) people would need to give more credit to Jackson as a passer… or at least they should.
When it comes to rushing, Jackson doesn’t need to set the single-season quarterback rushing yards record again to prove he’s got it. Heck, he doesn’t even need to eclipse 1,000-yards. Honestly, if Jackson can simply show that he remains a threat with his legs while playing smart and not taking too many hits that should be more than enough.
It seems that Lamar Jackson will carry on his winning ways into the 2020 season. This Ravens team is absolutely stacked with talent and looks like it got better this offseason. Almost the entire offense from 2019 is back and the team added a few new weapons via the 2020 NFL Draft. With a defense set to dominate once again, Jackson doesn’t have to play perfectly to win games. Based on what we’ve seen thus far, however, it seems like a safe bet that he’ll play some more terrific football.
The bottom line here is that Lamar Jackson has set the bar high for himself, but he doesn’t have to play at the pace he was on last year to prove himself. His encore performance in 2020 doesn’t need to be completely flawless, but doubters will be hard-pressed to continue degrading his performances if he has another dominant season this year. 2020 could be another great season for “Action” Jackson and we’re excited to see what he has up his sleeves.