Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has all but locked up the NFL Most Valuable Player award for the 2019 season, and now the second-year sensation is a +225 favorite to take home MVP of Super Bowl LIV.
|Super Bowl MVP||Odds|
The University of Louisville product took the NFL by surprise this year, as he shattered one record after another and helped lead the Ravens to a league-best 14-2 record. Baltimore earned a first-round bye in the playoffs and is the top choice (+200) to collect a Super Bowl ring.
Regular-season MVP campaign
Jackson’s record-setting crusade in 2019 included the single-season rushing mark for a quarterback (1,206) and the Ravens franchise record for passing touchdowns in a season (36). He also became the first player to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in the same year.
Lamar Jackson of House Raven, leader in passing touchdowns, the King in the AFC North, breaker of yardage records (and ankles) and not bad for a running back pic.twitter.com/23Bqp1YLqG
— PFF (@PFF) December 13, 2019
The dual-threat star improved his 58.2% completion rate from last year to 66.1% and has passed for 3,127 yards and just six interceptions. He also registered two perfect passer ratings (158.3), against the Dolphins and Bengals, and tallied seven rushing touchdowns.
In Week 16 against the Jets, Jackson recorded his third five-touchdown outing of the year and rushed for a team-high 87 yards. His 2019 MVP odds then skyrocketed to -5000 and signaled an end to the race.
Surrounded by skill
The one knock on Jackson as an MVP candidate is that he is surrounded by a brilliant supporting cast. Former Saints running back Mark Ingram has strengthened the run game, with 1,018 yards on the ground and 15 total touchdowns.
— D Brown (@DBrownFF88) December 13, 2019
Tight end Mark Andrews and rookie receiver Marquise Brown (both out of Oklahoma) are dangerous weapons in the passing game, and the defense is propped up by safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Marcus Peters.
The Ravens boast so much talent that 12 players were named to the AFC’s Pro Bowl team, which tied a record set by the Super Bowl-winning Miami Dolphins of 1973 for most Pro Bowlers from one team.
Baltimore by the numbers
This gifted Ravens squad has topped the NFL in points per game (33.2), average scoring margin (+15.6), touchdowns per contest (four), average rushing yards (206), first-quarter points (eight), and first-half points (17.8). The defense is also fourth in yards allowed (300.6), fifth against the pass (207.2 yards per game), and sixth against the run (93.4 YPG).
— Take Your Base Sports (@takeyourbasepod) September 8, 2019
Baltimore is an easy pick to secure the AFC championship (-130 odds) and go on to win Super Bowl LIV. If the Ravens can do just that, Jackson will accomplish one more milestone Feb. 2 in Miami.
Jackson could become the youngest quarterback (he turned 23 Jan. 7) to win an NFL title. Ben Roethlisberger set the current record when he achieved a Super Bowl win with the Pittsburgh Steelers about a month before he turned 24.
Jackson’s Super Bowl MVP potential
Jackson has had plenty of assistance from his teammates, but there’s no denying his presence has changed the game and created an enormous burden on defenses. His incredible speed makes him difficult to tackle, but if you can eliminate his running lanes, his arm can make you pay.
His passes are sharper, his mechanics tighter, his ball security better, and his decision-making smarter this season. Jackson can take a dead play and turn it into a huge gain, and the term “video game moves” has been used to describe his performance on a number of occasions.
Lamar Jackson’s a video game 🔥
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 4, 2019
If you think this offense is more a product of Greg Roman’s play calling than Jackson’s abilities, then you haven’t seen the stark contrast in production when backup Robert Griffin III is under center.
Jackson is the difference maker for Baltimore, and if this team can finish the year with a Super Bowl title, only one man can truly be responsible for it, which means he will almost surely be named MVP.