Lamar Jackson’s still out here, Nick Foles won’t be a backup in 2019 and Russell Wilson schools Patrick Mahomes Jr.
LJ Keeps On Trucking, The Critics Ain’t Saying Nothing
Lamar Jackson won for the fifth time in six career starts on Saturday. Criticized for his running style, Jackson had his best passing game of his career in a convincing 22-10 thrashing of a Los Angeles Chargers team that was riding the high of consecutive road victories and thinking Super Bowl.
With the arrival of the multi-faceted Jackson, the Ravens’ goals have elevated as well.
“Oh yeah — we’re the real deal,” Jackson told NFL.com reporter Michael Silver, about 30 minutes after Baltimore’s 9th win of the season after starting 4-5. “And the thing is, we’ve still got a lot to work on, and we can get a lot better.”
Since Jackson took over for veteran Joe Flacco, Baltimore has transformed its offensive identity while boasting the NFL’s top-rated defense. Jackson’s ability to control the clock with his legs and make crucial throws like the 68-yarder to Mark Andrews on Saturday has been a blessing to watch.
Lamar FUCKING Jackson 😤 THROWS 68yd TD pass to Mark Andrews 💥 he’s a QB not a WR 💯 pic.twitter.com/kJoe8iEswc
— BLACK SPORTSCENTER (@VersaceBoyEnt) December 23, 2018
In total, Jackson had a career-high 204 passing yards, 1 TD and no picks. He’s learning and improving each week and making fools like talent evaluators Bill Polian — who said Jackson would do better in the NFL as a wide receiver — look outdated. The game has obviously passed those guys by and so has Jackson who is the only first-round rookie QB on his way to the NFL playoffs. All he has to do is beat the Browns next week, which won’t be an easy task.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) December 24, 2018
Nick Foles Won’t Be Backing Up Anybody In 2019
Nick Foles’ Super Bowl-winning performance — and the way he’s kept Philly’s playoff hopes alive after the team lost Carson Wentz for the second consecutive year — is making it hard to limit him to a backup role.
The man is a starting quarterback and teams will be vying for his services. In another career-defining game for Foles, he threw for 471 yards and four TDs and led the Eagles to a wild 32-30 win.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) December 23, 2018
This was his fourth-career 400-yard game, which is the most in Eagles franchise history. Foles is also the first Eagles quarterback with 400 pass yards and four pass touchdowns in a single game since his seven-TD game in 2013.
In addition to being the best backup QB money can buy, Foles has been as clutch as anyone late in the season. He’s Philly’s personal gift from the football Gods and unfortunately unless the franchise decides to dump Wentz, Foles will be running his own team in another city and getting paid a pretty penny to do it.
Nick Foles is the 1st Eagles QB with 400 Pass yards and 4 Pass TD in a single game since … Nick Foles.
In Week 9 of 2013, Foles threw for 406 yards and 7 Pass TD in a 49-20 win at the Raiders. pic.twitter.com/1K3y6nZOaA
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 23, 2018
The Eagles have several options. The franchise could decide not to exercise the option and let Foles walk. It could exercise the option and try to trade Foles, exercise the $20 million option with the intent to keep him (Who keeps $20 million backup QBs?), or decline the option and place the franchise tag on Foles in hopes of trading him.
Foles will surely have a list of teams interested in acquiring him this offseason. Reports say the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Bucs, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos, and Cincinnati Bengals will be in pursuit.
Personally, I think that list is a bit short.
Russell Wilson Is Patrick Mahomes Jr.’s Blueprint
Dangeruss broke some more records and made Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes Jr. pay for his Pro Bowl snub. Wilson outdueled the young MVP favorite, giving Kansa City a dose of their own offensive medicine in a 38-31 playoff-clinching win over the AFC favorites.
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) December 24, 2018
Wilson was elusive, intelligent and insanely accurate and efficient with his passes, throwing for 271 yards and three TDs.
Dangeruss had a veteran answer for every incredible feat by Mahomes Jr. (273 yards, 3 Ts). He let everyone know that Mahomes Jr. may be the future of dual-threat QBs, but Kansas City’s QB still has to study Wilson’s blueprint some more before he can be elevated above the two-time Super Bowl quarterback.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 24, 2018
Wilson put on a clinic for the young legend in the making, who understands Wilson’s cultural and athletic place in NFL history as well as anyone.