The New England Patriots faced off against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football at M&T Bank Stadium Nov. 3.
Coming into the game, the Pats were undefeated at 8-0 and had an impenetrable defense.
That was until Lamar Jackson took the field.
The video game-like style that Jackson plays has left opposing defenses confused and overwhelmed all year.
Compared to last year, he is a completely different player.
In 2018, Jackson played 16 games. In those 16 games, he threw for 1,201 yards and ran for 695.
So far, through half as many games in 2019, Jackson has thrown for 1,813 yards and run for 637.
He has also thrown 12 touchdowns compared to last year’s six and has run for five, the same as last year’s season.
Essentially, Jackson is on pace to absolutely shatter his numbers from his rookie season.
The greatness he has shown was put in question, though, as he approached a game against the No.1-rated defense in the league: the New England Patriots.
Many expected he would not be able to throw against the Pats’ secondary and would have to run the ball instead.
Then, the flag was raised on the fact that New England is historically gifted at shutting down quarterbacks from running for a ton of yards.
Jackson was counted out from the start, but instead of doing what people expected, he did the opposite.
Not only did he beat the undefeated Patriots, he also ran for 61 yards and two touchdowns – something no one expected him to do against New England.
He also had his second-best QBR of the year, the latter coming against the worst defense in the NFL: the Miami Dolphins.
Now there are two questions to be asked.
Is Lamar Jackson the real deal and are the Patriots actually a top team, or have they just had an easy schedule?
Considering Jackson is 22nd in the league for rushing yards – even though he’s a quarterback – and is capable of blowing up a No. 1 defense, I’d say he is.
As for the Patriots, I still believe they deserve the title of a top team and Super Bowl favorite.
Tom Brady leads the league in pass attempts and completions and is second in the league in passing yards.
New England has the second-best passing, receiving, and total defense in the league, and are backed by Devin McCourty’s league-leading five interceptions.
With the long-awaited debut of N’Keal Harry coming after their bye-week, the Patriots’ offense should be the best it’s been all year.
With all of that in mind, and with the fact that it was one game in an entire season, the Patriots still cannot be considered anything but a Top 3 team in the NFL.
Expect fans to talk about Jackson and the Patriots as huge successes at the end of the season.