Because most rookies don’t get enough credit, we’ll be highlighting some top performances by the NFL’s next generation.
Offense: Week 11
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Sticking with the Louisville theme this week, the former Cardinals signal caller was the final pick in the first round of this year’s draft. The Ravens have used Jackson situationally, but with long time starter Joe Flacco nursing an ailing hip, Jackson took the reins in earnest in week 11. He didn’t disappoint, throwing for 150 yards on 13/19 passing against the Bengals, but Jackson’s versatility is what makes him a threat, and Baltimore schemed it to their advantage. Jackson ran all over the Bengals spotty defense, carrying the ball twenty-seven times for 117 yards on the ground, the most by a rookie QB since 1970. In tandem with fellow rookie Gus Edwards, the Ravens bowled over the Bengals to the tune of 265 yards rushing, and dominated time of possession, controlling the ball for over 38 minutes. The Ravens still have a shot at a wildcard berth, and Jackson looks to be the week 12 starter. He’ll look to crush a soft Oakland defense that allows more yards on the ground than almost anybody. I’m not saying that a win on Sunday would displace Flacco, but it might at least raise the question.
Be sure to check out previous rookie reports here.
Image Source: USA Today