We’re not going to mince the facts: ever since Jackson joined the Ravens, he has gone 0-3 against Mahomes and the Chiefs. Jackson knows it, and he also knows what he has to do, as he made clear in a press conference on Wednesday.
"“They did beat us three times or whatever, but that’s in the past. We got a better opportunity this time to come around and take advantage and win at our home stadium. But I’m not dwelling on those losses. We’re coming in Sunday night and we’re gonna play.”"
After one especially rough loss to the Chiefs last season when Jackson threw for a career-worst 97 yards, Jackson went on record saying Kansas City was the Ravens’ “kryptonite.”
Lamar Jackson will need a “Superman-level” performance to best his rival on Sunday night.
Mahomes clearly has the upper hand in passing statistics, and the two quarterbacks couldn’t have more different playing styles. Their respective greatness, though measured with different yardsticks, still makes each QB elite in the modern era.
Mahomes was the league MVP in 2018, and Jackson was the league MVP in 2019, and you could argue both have changed the game in their own right.
Each signal-caller has come to represent their respective franchises after only a few years: Mahomes’ name is synonymous with the Chiefs, Jackson’s name with the Ravens.
Jackson also told reporters that this game wasn’t about “me and Mahomes…it’s the Ravens vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.”
He’s both right and wrong about that.
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens face their toughest test of the season in Week 2 against the Chiefs
Yes, football is a 22-man game, not counting the coaches, coordinators, bench players, and all the other individuals that make up a franchise.
On Sunday night, Jackson will be flanked by Marquise Brown, Sammy Watkins, and Mark Andrews while Mahomes will survey the field for target favorites in Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.
Defenses will collide, tempers will flare, but at the end of the day, if there was going to be a player-for-player quarterback battle in Week 2, this is it.
In three games against the Ravens, Mahomes is 93-of-132 for 1,136 yards, nine touchdowns, and one interception, earning an overall passer rating of 116.2.
In three games against the Chiefs, Jackson is 50-of-95 for 511 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions, earning a passer rating of 78.9.
Jackson has much more to prove, and he can talk as much as he wants about team effort, but the truth is without Lamar Jackson, there is no Ravens team, no Ravens identity.
He is the face of the franchise right now, and he will be expected to don the red cape and save his team from yet another defeat.
With the Ravens Flock in the building tonight, Jackson has his chance to change the narrative in a fully packed M&T Bank Stadium. We just hope history won’t repeat itself.