Lamar Jackson has taken the NFL by storm this season with the Baltimore Ravens, but he will face the toughest test of his career this week. The mobile quarterback will take on the undefeated New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football in Week 9.
Last year, Jackson broke onto the scene as a rookie first-round pick and provided a spark in Baltimore. As a rookie, he threw for 1,201 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions. On top of that, Jackson flashed his ability to terrorize defense with his legs with 695 yards and five rushing touchdowns.
Above all, the Ravens went 6-1 with Jackson and won the AFC North. Now, this season, Jackson has continued right where he left off in 2018. However, Bill Belichick’s daunting defense has made opposing quarterbacks ‘see ghosts’.
In light of that, here are three bold predictions for the Ravens’ quarterback versus the Patriots in Week 9.
3. Jackson will rush for two touchdowns
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know how historic New England’s defense has been through the first eight weeks. Altogether, the defense has given up just 7.6 points per game (best in the NFL) and have allowed just four total touchdowns in 2019 (best in the NFL).
The strength of this Patriots defense is their ability to stop the pass. As a result, Jackson is going to be asked to put the entire offense on his back. The only way that the Ravens can win this game is if Jackson can get into a groove on the ground.
Up to this point, the Patriots have only allowed two rushing touchdowns in eight games. The dual-threat quarterback will score two rushing touchdowns himself on Sunday night.
2. Jackson will rush for 100 yards
Again, Baltimore’s only chance of stealing a win over the Patriots in Week 9 is by taking control of the game with their rushing attack. That’s due to the Patriots defense being impossible to throw the ball against and the Ravens don’t have nearly enough weapons to combat New England’s talented secondary.
Since Belichick became the head coach of the Patriots, New England has never allowed a quarterback to rush for over 100 yards. As a matter of fact, the quarterback to come closest to achieving the feat was Tim Tebow in 2011 with 93 yards.
Nevertheless, New England hasn’t faced a quarterback with Jackson’s skill set this season. Due to that, Jackson will surpass 100 yards on the ground, making him the first quarterback to do so against Belichick.
1. Jackson will have zero turnovers
This Patriots defense hasn’t shown any weaknesses yet but there’s one area that they really thrive in. While leading in just about every category on defense, the most impressive one is the league-high 25 takeaways.
Furthermore, the Patriots have forced a turnover in every single game this season. Additionally, they have had four games where they have gotten three or more takeaways.
Provided that, the Ravens are going to need their franchise quarterback to avoid turning the ball over on Sunday night. That is one area that Jackson has vastly improved in; having just two games where he has turned the ball over.