Over the weekend, Lamar Jackson bounced back from a double-digit chasm to defeat the Minnesota Vikings on his home turf. After a lackluster first half, the Ravens rallied back in the second stanza and erased a 24-10 deficit in the second half.
Lamar is the most irreplaceable player in football right now https://t.co/NMzVb2Bmuo
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) November 8, 2021
The difference-maker was the Ravens’ three touchdown drives in succession that headed the game into overtime. Charm City finished on the winning side of a 34-31 score.
The Ravens’ position at the top of the AFC North with a 6-2 record comes in part from defining themselves as the comeback kings of the NFL. The voluminous playmaking of Lamar Jackson fuels this.
With half of Baltimore’s wins through comebacks, Lamar Jackson has looked the MVP of the season. However, on the sportsbook odds sites Jackson holds a paltry No. 7 spot on the MVP odds list.
266 Lamar Jackson Passing Yards
187 Kirk Cousins Passing Yards
120 Lamar Jackson Rushing Yards
110 Dalvin Cook Rushing Yards
This is not normal. https://t.co/7YSRfAa763
— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) November 7, 2021
“Who’s making the odds? Do they watch the game, though? No, for real,” said Ryan Clark on ESPN’s “Get Up.” “Maybe they just don’t watch the game, and maybe it’s just about stats and whether our team wins, because if you watch that football team, there is no more MVPish type performer than Lamar Jackson is right now.”
“They only win if he plays excellent and not like a little good, not average, not good enough, he has to play excellent for them to win football games and they win football games they are not supposed to because of him. That’s what an MVP is, that’s what they do!”
During NFL Week 2, the squad in purple overcame an 11-point deficit through half the third quarter and defeated Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. The 36-35 win gave Jackson his first victory over Mahomes.
Then in Week 5, the Ravens bounced back from a slightly deeper 16-point shortfall. With only 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the team took the Indianapolis Colts to overtime to defeat them 31-25.
Against All Odds
However, according to the Caesars Sportsbook, Jackson is currently No. 7 on the MVP odds, with Tom Brady sitting at the very top. Meanwhile, Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a bye week after losing 36-27 to the New Orleans Saints in Week 8.
Just another Sunday for Lamar Jackson.
MVP? 😈 pic.twitter.com/Y6gaRoaAmB
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) November 7, 2021
“That vote is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen,” said ESPN “Get Up” co-host Dan Orlovsky. “So you mean to tell me that the guy who didn’t play moved up in the MVP rankings over the guy who had 400 yards of offense? Four hundred yards and erased a double-digit deficit?
“The Ravens this year are 3-1 when trailing at halftime by double-digits. The rest of the NFL is 8-93 in that situation. We want to talk about MVP, it’s not the guy with the best numbers and the craziest statistics. The Ravens would literally be a one- or two-win football team if not for Lamar Jackson. He had 400 yards of offense yesterday and had to drag his team back for a win after being down 14 nugget.”
“Lamar Jackson can’t come back from behind.” pic.twitter.com/eiqDVmdPpH
— Jose V (@RavensFanReacts) November 8, 2021
The argument challenges what the actual criteria are for judging an MVP candidate. The Associated Press (AP) and the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA); however, the AP choice is the one the league recognizes.
According to Sports Betting Dimes, American sportsbooks create odds using “implied probability” or “the likelihood of a particular outcome suggested by the odds. Figuring it out involves converting odds into a percentage, which indicates the likelihood that event will happen vs. the alternative.”
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 7, 2021
How Jackson isn’t number one based on his tangibles and intangibles to will the Ravens to a 6-2 season puts the odds in serious question. Aaron Rodgers sits right before Jackson, and he is out with a COVID-19 diagnosis and didn’t play in Week 9.
With the odds stacked against him, Lamar Jackson forces you to rethink the stats and what indeed makes for an MVP seasonal performance.