Ravens: Analyzing Lamar Jackson’s touchdown to interception ratio

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 02: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates rushing for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 02: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates rushing for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Lamar Jackson makes big plays, but he also isn’t a risk taker. Let’s break this down:

Before we get into the article: I just want to take a second to say a few things on the tragic passing of Mo Gaba. To be honest, writing almost didn’t feel right today. Nothing feels right today. Mo was quite literally a beacon of hope. He fought cancer almost the entirety of his life. Instead of being bitter, angry or frustrated, he was a euphoric figure who made everybody smile. His voice will live on in our hearts forever.

Mo may have been the only person on earth who loved the Ravens more than I do. In just 14 years, he became a great man who inspired us. So if you ever want to complain and just throw in the towel, remember to be Mo Strong. Remember that he could always smile, dance, goof off and energize all of us and a lot of the time, he was going through a worse situation than you’ll ever face. I’m heartbroken, as we all are. Yet I know that Mo will live on forever as a Baltimore hero.

Now, the article:

Lamar Jackson had a 36 touchdowns in the 2019 season and he was only picked off six times. Jackson led the league in touchdowns. It wasn’t like he wasn’t a shot taker. Jackson just didn’t make a lot of mistakes with the football. In 2018, he started seven games and had six touchdowns compared to just three interceptions. Even before he developed his game and became an elite passer in the NFL, he still made good decisions with the ball.

There are three reasons why it’s so hard to get an interception out of Jackson. First, he’s a smart quarterback. Jackson doesn’t get enough credit for his football brain but it’s one of the biggest reasons why he is so successful. This stems from his ability as a runner, but he’s good at throwing the ball to players who have a lot of green grass in front of them. He knows when a defensive back is out of position and he gets the concepts that Greg Roman is drawing up. He’s also got a big play radar and he has a great chemistry with Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown. In 2019 he was just starting to read defenses well, but he always could judge risk vs. reward well.

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The second reason Jackson is so good at racking up touchdowns and avoiding interceptions is because he’s not a gunslinger. Patrick Mahomes is often compared to Brett Favre, because he has the same ability to create something out of nothing and there will never be a throw he doesn’t think he can make. Mahomes has the magic.

Jackson has a different brand of magic, but he’s not going to take chances just because his arm could allow him to get away with it. Jackson takes calculated shots. He’s like a good Words With Friends player. He’s going for the triple word score, but he’s not setting you up for a big word. Jackson takes what is given and creates when he has to, not the other way around.

The third reason for this success is that Jackson is incredibly gifted as an athlete. Jackson needs to force throws less than any quarterback in NFL history. If he’s in trouble he can get out of it with his legs. If he has to extend a play to find an open receiver or see what he can get on the ground, he’s more than willing to do it. In fact this has been his problem in the playoffs. Things have gone wrong, he starts pressing and he forgets that if he just plays his game he’s almost impossible to beat.


Jackson was told by many doubters that he was going to struggle as a passer in the NFL. Now everybody knows he can throw the football like an elite quarterback. That’s an incredible level of growth yet he’s always thrown way more touchdowns than he did picks. At Louisville the most interceptions he had in a year was 10 and he had 27 touchdown passes.

The Bottom Line:

If Jackson was this good in his second season, he’s going to be one of the best players you’re ever going to see. If Jackson keeps improving, the NFL has no answers for what he’s going to do. While it’s different than what Mahomes brings, it’s every bit as special.

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With Jackson’s dual threat ability, he always gives you something good. The good always outweighs the bad by a crazy amount. Jackson is great, he’s going to get better and this trait has been with him from the beginning.