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Lamar Jackson by the numbers: Ravens QB early MVP favorite as he’s off to start unseen in NFL history

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Lamar Jackson continues to change the narrative every single week. Jackson came into the league as a quarterback some analysts thought would play another position, yet he’s found ways to revolutionize the game while improving his own football fundamentals. 

Jackson is the first quarterback to run for 1,000 yards in a season twice, and he led the league in touchdown passes and touchdown percentage when he captured his first MVP award — the youngest MVP in NFL history. Jackson is the third youngest quarterback to win MVP and a playoff game, accomplishing plenty before he even turns 25 years old (which doesn’t happen until January).

Jackson is off to arguably the best start for a quarterback in NFL history through five games, emerging as a front-runner to win his second MVP award in three years. In this week’s “By The Numbers,” we take a look at Jackson’s impressive start and what he’s been able to accomplish in 42 starts. 

2021 NFL leaders — passing yards

  1. Tom Brady — 1,767
  2. Derek Carr — 1,605
  3. Matthew Stafford — 1,587
  4. Justin Herbert — 1,576
  5. Lamar Jackson — 1,519

2021 NFL leaders — rushing yards

  1. Derrick Henry — 640
  2. Nick Chubb — 523
  3. Ezekiel Elliott — 452
  4. James Robinson — 387
  5. Joe Mixon — 386
  6. Alvin Kamara — 368
  7. Austin Ekeler — 349
  8. Lamar Jackson — 341

2021 NFL leaders — total yards (passing + rushing)

  1. Lamar Jackson — 1,860
  2. Tom Brady — 1,803
  3. Patrick Mahomes — 1,643
  4. Justin Herbert — 1,636
  5. Derek Carr — 1,634
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NFL leaders — combined touchdowns (passing + rushing)

  1. Patrick Mahomes — 17
  2. Tom Brady — 16
  3. Justin Herbert — 14
  4. Josh Allen — 14
  5. Jameis Winston — 13
  6. Dak Prescott — 13
  7. Kyler Murray — 13
  8. Matthew Stafford — 12
  9. Aaron Rodgers — 11
  10. Russell Wilson — 11
  11. Sam Darnold — 11
  12. Joe Burrow — 11
  13. Lamar Jackson — 10
  14. Jalen Hurts — 10
  15. Kirk Cousins — 10
  16. Matt Ryan — 10

Jackson is the first player in NFL history to have 1,500 passing yards and 300 rushing yards in the first five games of a season. He’s also the only player to accumulate 1,500 passing yards and 300 rushing yards in a five-game stretch at any point in the season. 

Jackson is the only quarterback to rank in the top 10 in passing and rushing yards this year, a rare feat for a quarterback. Only one player in the Super Bowl era has ever done that over a full season: Randall Cunningham. (He finished sixth in passing and ninth in rushing in 1990.) Jackson has more passing yards than Patrick Mahomes, a higher completion percentage (67.1%) than Aaron Rodgers, and a higher yards per attempt (9.1) than Tom Brady. Jackson is fourth in the NFL in yards per attempt and tied for first in yards per completion (13.6). His 104.4 passer rating is 11th in the league. 

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Jackson’s 1,860 combined passing and rushing yards this season are more than 18 NFL teams. He’s on pace to throw for 5,164 yards and rush for 1,159 yards, numbers that would be unprecedented for a quarterback in league history. If Jackson reaches those numbers, his passing yards would be sixth most in league history while the rushing yards would be the second most for a quarterback ever — behind Jackson’s 1,206 in his MVP season of 2019. 

Let’s take a look at how Jackson has fared since he became the starting quarterback in Week 11 of the 2018 season:

  • TD passes — 75
  • Interceptions — 21
  • Rushing yards — 3,108 
  • Rushing TD — 20
  • Passer rating — 102.8 
  • Wins — 34

Jackson has the most rushing yards and victories since taking over as the Ravens starting quarterback, while the rushing touchdowns trail only Josh Allen. The 95 combined passing and rushing touchdowns trail Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Josh Allen and Aaron Rodgers since Jackson became the starter — further stating the case Jackson is one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks. 

Jackson is tied with Dan Marino for the most wins for a quarterback before turning 25 years old — which he can break this Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. He has 41 consecutive games with a passing or rushing touchdown — the fifth-most in NFL history since the 1970 merger — and the longest active streak in the NFL. 

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Here’s what else Jackson has accomplished in such a short career: 

Most total touchdowns — pass and rush (first 42 starts)

  1. Patrick Mahomes — 112
  2. Dan Marino — 102
  3. Kurt Warner — 96
  4. Lamar Jackson — 95
  5. Deshaun Watson — 94

Most 100-yard rushing games (career)

  1. Michael Vick — 10
  2. Lamar Jackson — 9
  3. Russell Wilson — 4
  • Jackson is the first quarterback in NFL history to surpass 1,000-yards rushing in multiple seasons. 
  • He and Watson are the only quarterbacks with at least 25 touchdown passes and five rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons in NFL history. 
  • Jackson is the fastest QB in league history to reach 5,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards (35 games). He’s also the first player in NFL history to reach 5,000 passing yards and 2,500 rushing yards in the first three seasons of a career.
  • He’s the only quarterback with multiple games of five touchdown passes and 85 rushing yards in NFL history. 
  • Jackson reached 3,000 rushing yards in his 48th career game, becoming the fastest quarterback in NFL history to reach that mark. 
  • Jackson is already 11th all-time in rushing yards by a quarterback (3,247), needing just 33 yards to pass Aaron Rodgers (3,279) for 10th. 

Jackson has transcended the quarterback position and is building up an incredible resume, even though he won’t be 25 until January. The Ravens quarterback hasn’t even reached his prime — and he still has plenty to accomplish in the years ahead. 

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