Lamar Jackson did not ascend as the MVP favorite until two weeks ago when his Baltimore Ravens team dominated the San Francisco 49ers. Jackson was still getting pushed back before he threw for five touchdowns against the Miami Dolphins, a game that stamped his name on the MVP list this year. Still, it is interesting to see an MVP take so long to emerge. One reason Jackson was hurt was Gus Edwards.
The Baltimore Ravens usage of Gus Edwards did not help Lamar Jacksons MVP case
Edwards has 13 touchdowns this season. All of them came inside the 10, and 12 of them came from rushing attempts inside the five yards line. Gus Edwards has 19 rushes inside the five and scored 12 touchdowns. He was tied with Raheem Mostert for the most rushes inside the five and had one more touchdown from that area as compared to Mostert.
This obviously impacted Jackson. Gus Edwards was not a big play hitter, and he was usually not the person getting them inside the five. Lamar Jackson would get them there, and Edwards would finish the runoff.
If the Baltimore Ravens simply threw the ball six more times when they were inside the five-yard line, and Lamar Jackson had 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions, would there be nearly as much talk about his MVP case?
Gus Edwards's career-high in touchdowns was six; this year, it is up to an astounding 13. He had just 13 touchdowns in the four seasons prior to 2023. That speaks to the impact that Lamar Jackson had on his season. The MVP is about lifting others up with the stats to prove it; Gus Edwards's ascension solidifies Lamar Jackson’s case.