We come to a conclusion of our 2020 season outlook series with the reigning MVP Lamar Jackson. How will he follow up on his historic 2019 season in 2020?
Lamar Jackson blew away any and all expectations entering his second year in the NFL. Jackson led the league in touchdown passes (36) while also setting the single-season quarterback rushing yards record (1,206) en route to the league’s second-ever unanimous MVP award. Jackson was simply breathtaking all year long and put on a performance unlike anything we’ve seen before.
Jackson’s season was seemingly all for naught according to his critics, however, thanks to a short-lived playoff appearance by the Baltimore Ravens in which he committed three turnovers in a 27-12 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Like magic, suddenly Jackson’s successes disappeared to his audience.
More from Ebony Bird
- Ravens’ Rivals: Takeaways around the AFC North heading into week 12
- Ravens vs. Steelers set for Tuesday: 4 players who can step up
- Lamar Jackson positive for COVID-19: What’s next for Jackson, Ravens?
- Key Baltimore Ravens to be thankful for this season
- Baltimore Ravens dropping fast in latest NFL power rankings
2020 is here now and with it comes higher expectations for Lamar Jackson, not only as a player but as a franchise leader. Many are expecting Jackson to finally win a playoff game for Baltimore and perhaps even win a Super Bowl title. Short of that, nothing else seems to matter.
Regardless, we’re here to talk about a season outlook as a whole for Lamar Jackson and not one aspect of this season.
For starters, Jackson has gone on record to say that he expects to run a lot less moving forward than he did in 2019. It makes a lot of sense, as the Ravens won’t want their franchise quarterback to breakdown early in his career by risking unnecessary hits (even though he is smart not to take too many chances). Even still, we can’t pretend that Jackson will go from a dual-threat quarterback to a stationary passer. No, Jackson will continue to use his legs to his advantage and dissect defenses with his mobility and arm. And when all else fails, he’ll take off as a runner and beat you that way.
Where everyone will be looking for improvement from Lamar Jackson is as a passer. It’s hard to believe that we are asking a player who led the league in passing touchdowns a year ago to be better as a passer. What helps Jackson is having his two favorite targets, Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown, completely healthy and in the fold for large roles this year. Those three can do so much damage to a defense in a variety of ways.
Overall, the cast surrounding Lamar Jackson looks superior to last season. The backfield remains loaded and added a terrific runner and pass catcher in J.K. Dobbins via the 2020 NFL Draft, while the pass catchers have some dynamic speed and playmaking abilities. The offense will be explosive once again and a large part of that will be because of “Action” Jackson’s play.
With an offensive scheme tailor-made to Jackson’s strengths, there’s little reason to believe that he could regress in 2020. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman couldn’t have constructed a better offense for Jackson if he tried, and the front office has done a great job to give him the tools to be successful. I have a feeling that because of everything here that we’ll see more fireworks from Jackson compared to regression.
2020 is going to be another stellar year for Lamar Jackson. Jackson will want to once again prove his doubters wrong for overlooking him even after a terrific 2019 campaign. I suspect the rushing numbers will go down quite a bit, but his passing marks will be improved. All in all, 2020 is the year Jackson proves his doubters wrong once and for all.
Lamar Jackson 2020 projected stats: 3,800 passing yards, 32 passing touchdowns, eight interceptions, 115 carries, 750 rushing yards, six rushing touchdowns