Lamar Jackson is as close to a one-man team as the NFL has ever seen
It’s the morning after Monday Night Football, and the entire NFL-speaking world is abuzz about Jon Gruden’s email habits. Topless photos of cheerleaders, racial epithets, homophobic slurs, political attacks, and, of course, some good ol’ fashioned Roger Goodell bashing. You name it, Gruden clicked the send button on it. Now he’s not an NFL coach anymore and probably never will be again. The emails, largely culled from the NFL's ongiong investigation into the Washingont Football Team, are pretty sickening. Gruden got was coming to him. The communiques deserve their moment and deeper scrutiny, and will almost certainly get it. Unfortunately, lost in the uproar was perhaps the greatest Monday Night Football (another former employer of Gruden, it should be said) performance of all time from one Lamar Jackson.
For those of you crunching the numbers at home, that’s 504 total yards from Jackson. But the output is only a sliver of the story. It's the efficiency of the output that made headlines and broke records as Jackson almost single handedly led the Ravens back from a 19-point third-quarter deficit to win in overtime. Check it out.
Remember when everyone said he could throw about as well as Derrick Henry? It’s probably worth noting that the Colts defense is not the, uh, 2000 Ravens defense, but 85% completion percentage on over 40 pass attempts is unreal. It’s like being a gunslinger and a surgeon all at once, and when the smoke cleared and anesthesia wore off, Jackson had accounted for 96% of the Ravens total offense on Monday. We’re no Stephen Hawking, but that’s pretty close to the theoretical limit.
But Jackson isn’t just morphing into a one-man juggernaut in Baltimore, a franchise desperately shorthanded following the loss of both JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards to season-ending ACL injuries. He would be doing the same thing in over half of NFL cities, with his 1,860 total yards eclipsing that of 17 ENTIRE TEAMS five weeks into the 2021 season.
For what it’s worth, the record for the most combined passing and rushing yards over the course of a single season belongs to Drew Brees in 2011, he threw for 5,476 yards and ran for … 86. That’s 5,562 total yards. Jackson is on pace for 5,952 through 16 games, and gets extra game this season to pad his stats with.
So yeah, do y’all still want to talk about Jon Gruden?