Ravens: Lamar Jackson named AFC Offensive Player of the Week

Well, it’s been an interesting turn of events. In the same week that Patrick Mahomes lost his third game of the season, Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson went and played a game like that.

In Week 5 against the Detroit Lions, Jackson broke team records. He made an early case for his league MVP nomination (despite his odds still being ridiculously low).

And to no one’s surprise, Jackson won AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the eighth time in his four-year NFL career.

Buffalo Bills defensive end Greg Rousseau won AFC Defensive Player of the Week and New England Patriots kicker Nick Folk won AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

Some NFL analysts believe Lamar Jackson is currently the best quarterback in the league, having knocked Mahomes off his throne for the time being. For those on the fence in the Jackson/Mahomes debate, Jackson’s stats in Week 5 can do the talking.

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson wins AFC Offensive POTW in Week 5

Herein lies the most succinct answer to the question: Has the league figured out Jackson?

No.

Through five weeks, Jackson’s combined 1,860 passing and rushing yardage total amounts to higher than those of 18 NFL teams. Take a minute for that to sink in.

According to Pro Football Focus, Jackson was responsible for 96 percent of the Ravens’ total yards. Do you need another minute? We’ll wait.

Jackson currently ranks fifth in the league in passing and eighth in rushing, so at the very least Jackson should be considered a top-8 QB in 2021.

The “who’s better” discussion surrounding Jackson and Mahomes doesn’t feel like a fair comparison in the first place given each QB’s very different playing styles and their teams’ respective offensive schemes.

So far, though, Jackson has accumulated more passing yards than Mahomes (1,519 compared to 1,490) while also gaining more rushing yards than some of the best running backs in the league including Aaron Jones, Jonathan Taylor, and Antonio Gibson.

Jackson’s Week 5 performance marked, perhaps for the first time this season, his total and unreal dominance at his position. Mahomes has had quite a few of those games in his career, as has Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and other QB greats.

This past week, Jackson rose above them all and played a game worth telling his grandchildren about.

QB power rankings rarely remain stable for long, and the ongoing debate over Jackson’s level of greatness in the modern NFL era will probably never end.

After Week 5, Jackson deserves the AFC Offensive Player of the Week award as much as he deserves an apology from all those who doubted him.

His legendary season’s only getting started.