Lamar Jackson did it again Thursday night. The Baltimore Ravens quarterback dominated on national television, throwing five touchdown passes and leading his team to a blowout win over the New York Jets. While many once debated whether Jackson was a runner, a passer or even a true quarterback, it's become clear that he's everything anyone could want under center.
Jackson broke a record Thursday night, easily passing Michael Vick's single-season rushing yardage total for a quarterback. His 1,103 yards on the ground are the new standard and he still has two regular season games left. It was the latest proof that Jackson is a breathtaking playmaker, the likes of which we've rarely seen at the quarterback position. But that wasn't even close to all he did.
The same night he was breaking Vick's rushing record, Jackson showed off all the skills that are finally making everyone believe in him as a passer. He completed 15 of 23 passes for 212 yards and five touchdowns. He didn't turn the ball over and repeatedly found holes in the Jets' defense. He owned the game from start to finish with his legs and his arm, not one or the other.
It's fair to say Jackson will never be a classic pocket passer, but with his elusiveness, he'll never have to be. The threat of the run opens up defenses and his targets are that much more open as a result. He's an accurate passer as it is, but having targets running free makes life easier. He has the instincts and feel to throw his receivers open.
So far this season, Jackson is completing 66.2 percent of his passes for 2,889 yards, with 33 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He entered Week 14 leading the NFL in touchdown passes and QBR (81.2).
The completion percentage is incredibly impressive. Jackson has most often been compared to Vick, who only completed 56.2 percent of his passes for his career. That's the easy connection to make, but Vick was never the passer Jackson is. He had a bigger arm, but he was never this accurate and never had the feel or touch Jackson does.
No, Jackson isn't the new Vick. He's something new and different, something better. He's everything you could want in a franchise quarterback. And he's here to stay.