All eyes will be on Lamar Jackson in his second season under center for the Baltimore Ravens—especially in fantasy football. In 2018, Jackson had success with his legs but left a lot to be desired when it came to throwing the ball.
The craze in the NFL right now is finding guys like Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield who can extend plays with their legs and make deranged throws. As for Jackson, showcasing his arm talent will be of the utmost importance in 2019.
Last season, the Ravens’ season began to fall to the wayside with Joe Flacco under center, with the team going 4-5 in the first nine weeks. Then, after Baltimore’s bye week in Week 10, John Harbaugh made the decision to start Jackson.
With Jackson, the offense did a one-eighty compared to what the offense was with Flacco. The Ravens offense became a run-oriented offense with Jackson running a majority of his plays out of the pistol formation.
Jackson and Gus Edwards led the rushing attack and helped bulldoze their way into the playoffs with a 10-6 record—winning the AFC North. Although, the Ravens would fall short in the AFC Wild Card round when they came up against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Chargers knew the ins and outs of the Ravens offense as they became too predictable. Nonetheless, Jackson impressed for the most part in his rookie season with 695 yards rushing and five touchdowns on the ground.
As for the passing, Jackson completed just 58.2% of his passes for 1,201 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions. Fumbles were also an issue with the rookie signal-caller losing hold of the ball 15 times in his eight starts.
So what numbers should we expect from Jackson in his sophomore season in the NFL? Predicting his season will be tricky as it’s hard to gauge where the mobile quarterback has improved as a passer this offseason.
For starters, Jackson should see an increase in all of the statistics across the board this year. That means that Jackson should be able to surpass 3,000 yards passing in his second season.
In 2018, Jackson only threw for 1,201 yards in seven starts but if he improved slightly as a passer, we should see a more cerebral version of Jackson this season. After all, it shouldn’t be hard to do much better than last year as a thrower.
As for touchdowns, Jackson only threw for six of them in 2018 but the Ravens will make it a goal of theirs to throw the ball a little more. That leaves Jackson with an opportunity to throw 18 or more touchdowns in the upcoming season.
Is there a chance we will witness Jackson rush for over a thousand yards in the offense? It’s possible but Harbaugh likely knows he needs to protect Jackson from taking unnecessary hits and will steer clear of running him into the ground.
Therefore, it’s within reason to believe Jackson could rush for 750 or more yards in 2019. Besides, you can’t have a quarterback as explosive as Jackson and tell him not to utilize his legs. That’s what makes him a threat to any defense.
Scoring opportunities should be there for Jackson and he could rush for 8 touchdowns in 2019. All in all, that would give Jackson a stat line of 3,000 yards passing, 18 touchdowns, 750 yards rushing and eight scores on the ground.
The only worries about Jackson are his accuracy and his turnover issues which could come into play during this season. Although, if Jackson can put up the numbers as predicted above, the Ravens could be primed for another playoff spot in 2019.