Remember last year, when the Ravens first introduced the Lamar Jackson offense and the narrative became that, by the second time a defense sees him, the defense will know how to stop him?
This year, that narrative has become, No one knows how to stop him.
After Thursday night’s win over the Jets, which featured another stellar performance from the no-brainer NFL MVP, Sal Paolantonio of ESPN asked Ravens safety Earl Thomas in the locker room how he’d defend against Jackson.
“It would be very, very tough,” Thomas said. “You can’t really turn your back against him, once he gets past the front, he can run. I really don’t have the answer, man. I keep telling guys, even if I did I probably wouldn’t even tell anybody about it.”
That’s smart, if Thomas had the answer. But he doesn’t. No one does.
That said, the Browns slowed him down a bit in Week Four, picking him off twice and beating the Ravens in Baltimore, 40-25. And Cleveland gets another shot at Jackson next Sunday. It will be interesting to see if they can do it again.
Based on how Jackson has performed in 10 straight games since then, it’s unlikely that they will. Especially since Jackson and the Ravens will be highly motivated to erase one of the only two blemishes on their record from 2019.
The other blemish came a week earlier, at Kansas City. The Ravens may get a chance to erase that one in the playoffs.
Regardless, the Ravens offense quickly has gone from something that felt like a gimmick to something that feels like it can’t be cracked — especially if Jackson learns how to cap his stellar runs by getting out of bounds, which he did on a couple of occasions last night.