What We Learned From NFL Week 15

Lamar Jackson keeps winning, Chicago takes the NFC North, and Nick Foles tries to take Philly on another improbable title run. 

Action Jackson Keeps Putting Up W’s 

Lamar Jackson has quickly risen from backing up Joe Flacco to becoming the only Fab Five rookie QB that will be leading a team into the 2018 playoffs.  Jackson took over for the injured Flacco in Week 11 with a struggling Baltimore team fading out the playoff picture at 4-5.

He defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, rushing a record 26 times and establishing what has become the NFL’s most feared ground game. 5 games into being the starter, Baltimore is sitting in the sixth Wild Card spot. Jackson is 4-1, with his only loss coming to Kansas City by three points, but not before Jackson gave his team the lead late in the fourth quarter.

Sundays 20-12 thumping of Tampa Bay was no different than its been. Jackson was a beast on the ground with 95 yards rushing and he also completed key third-down passes with poise and accuracy to chip in 131 yards passing.  There’s no doubt he’s a complete quarterback.

When Jackson was being criticized and insulted by being called a better wide receiver prospect than NFL quarterback, scouts and analysts ignored the most important aspect of playing QB and that’s being a playmaker and a winner. Jackson is obviously all of those things and with the exception of Baker Mayfield who has shown superstar potential, he’s been the top rookie quarterback in the entire Draft and a steal for Baltimore as the final pick in the last round.  

Monsters of The Midway Regain Control of The NFC North

The Chicago Bears, Khalil Mack, and that vaunted defense have won the franchise’s second division title of the Aaron Rodgers Era. They did it by defeating Rodgers’ Packers 24-17 on Sunday.

Before the arrival of Rodgers, the Chicago Bears (10-4)  at least had a shot at the NFC North division crown. Once Rodgers took the torch from Brett Favre in Green Bay, the Bears became an afterthought.

From 2001-06 the Bears won the division three times and made a Super Bowl. Since Rodgers made his first Pro Bowl in his second full season as a starter in 2009, the Bears had won the division just one time in 2010.

Chicago has broken the Rodgers curse this season. With a rising star of their own at QB in Mitchell Trubisky, the future is live for Chicago.

Nick Foles And The Philly Miracles PT. 2? 

Carson Wentz goes down again late in the season and Nick Foles swoops in to save the day.

Philly’s upset of the Rams on Sunday was another example of Foles acting proficiently in his role as best backup ever.

With Wentz nursing a broken back, Foles threw for 270 yards and ran the offense like it was last year’s Super Bowl.  The 30-23 win also kept Philadelphia’s slim playoff hopes alive.

If the Eagles could backdoor it into the playoffs, with Foles at the helm they would have a puncher’s chance of pulling off some upsets. Nobody wants to see them in January.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.