Lamar Jackson managed to unseat a long-time starter in Baltimore. In doing so, Jackson and the Ravens are now tied at the hip, hoping that what the rookie flashed was the real deal and not a mirage.
Jackson is probably the most dynamic of the two second-year quarterbacks in the division. But after a rookie year with a playoff appearance, the expectation is more of the same in his sophomore season.
Given the offensive climate in the National Football League, Jackson is a natural fit. A quarterback with the second option in speed has a lot of opportunities. Look at Russell Wilson in Seattle or the scrambling ability of current MVP Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City.
Jackson is, in real-time, the future of the position. If, and it’s a big “if,” he can maintain and advance his game in 2019, Baltimore will be back in the playoffs this season, and seasons to come.
The AFC North is rich in talent at key positions. Mayfield, Taylor, Jackson, and Smith-Schuster are the best example of an AFC North loaded with optimism rooted in tangible examples. While the media has and still swoons over the Dallas Cowboys and the NFC East, the North is on deck for big things in 2019. Something a lot of other divisions simply can’t match.