Move aside, Michael Vick. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is the new single-season rushing leader in NFL history.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson will have to wait until season’s end to add his first MVP trophy to his collection. For now, he’ll just have to settle with making NFL history on Thursday night.
Jackson broke Michael Vick’s single-season rushing record for a quarterback at home against the New York Jets, surpassing the 1,039 yards that Vick gained with the Atlanta Falcons in 2006. The Ravens’ second-year quarterback came into the game with 1,017 yards, 22 short of Vick’s record, and quickly gained 20 on the Ravens second play of their opening drive. He set the record with a five-yard run to the Jets six-yard-line with 8:36 left in the first quarter.
Jackson is already up to 64 yards rushing in the game near the end of the first half with the Ravens leading the Jets 21-7. It’s already his 11th game this season with at least 60 yards rushing, with two still to play; since the NFL merger, only Vick in 2004 and the Bears’ Bobby Douglass in 1972 even had nine such games.
It’s the kind of production head coach John Harbaugh had in mind when he benched former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco in favor of Jackson, the team’s 32nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, in Week 11 last season. With Flacco at quarterback, only once since 2010 did the Ravens rush for 2,000 yards in a season.
Behind Jackson, they came into tonight’s game with 2,612 yards through the first 13 games of this season, the most by any team since the 1978 Patriots. They’re on pace for more than 3,200 rushing yards, a mark only the 1948 49ers have reached in NFL history. The Ravens would also be only the third team since the merger, after Vick’s 2006 Falcons and Barry Sanders’ 1997 Lions, to average at least 5.5 yards per carry.
Jackson’s production hasn’t been limited to the ground this season, either. He leads the league with 30 touchdown passes, including two on Thursday in the first half against the Jets, and in QBR. The Ravens have won nine straight games and currently hold the No. 1 seed in the AFC with an 11-2 record; Jackson is 17-3 since taking over from Flacco.