BALTIMORE — Lamar Jackson helped the Baltimore Ravens ending a three-year playoff burial and also clinch the franchise’s original AFC North title since 2012, and he put himself into elite company by doing so.
In Sunday’s 26-24 win across the Cleveland Browns, Jackson’s two touchdown runs helped fasten the AFC’s No. 4 seed and also ended off one of the very successful rookie seasons for a quarterback in recent history.
Jackson became the first rookie quarterback to win the AFC North because Ben Roethlisberger at 2004. He also became only the first time rookie quarterback in the Super Bowl age to win of his team’s final seven matches, linking Roethlisberger, Vince Young (2006), Robert Griffin III (2012) and also Russell Wilson (2012), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Ravens (10-6) will play host to the LosAngeles Chargers (12-4) in the wild card round next weekend. This is going to soon likely be a rematch of Baltimore’s 22-10 win over the Chargers on Dec. 22.
The Ravens had to sweat out their first division title since their last Super Bowl season. After the Browns moved into Ravens land, linebacker C.J. Mosley picked off Baker Mayfield with 1:02 remaining to help Baltimore avoid a collapse from the finale for the 2nd consecutive season.
Baltimore enters the postseason as one of the hottest teams in the NFL, thanks to this electric functioning of Jackson and the NFL’s No. 1 defense. Jackson ran for 90 yards, including touchdown runs of 25 and 8 metres. The Baltimore defense produced three interceptions and delivered the critical fourth down standalone.
A championship run seemed like a pipe dream in early November, when Baltimore reached the bye week having a 45 record, a three-game losing streak and an injured beginning in Joe Flacco (hip). Jackson, the last of those five quarterbacks drafted in this season’s first round, took control of an unconventional alternative racing game that’s confused and dominated defenses up front.
While Jackson remains a work in advance as a passer, it’s hard to argue with his success. He’s gone 6-1 as a starter, his only loss coming in overtime at the Kansas City Chiefs, the best seed in the AFC.
When the final whistle sounded, the Ravens rushed the field in celebration and trainer John Harbaugh took a lap at the base of the stadium jar to slap hands with fans.