For the second straight year, Jackson has started the season as the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. It's the sixth time that Jackson has captured the award during his young career. He won it five times in 2019 on his way to becoming the unanimous winner of the NFL's Most Valuable Player Award. Tom Brady (2007) and Cam Newton (2015) are the only other players to win the award five times in one season.
If Jackson is beginning another MVP campaign, Sunday was a superb way to kick it off. Leading the Ravens to a 38-6 victory over the Cleveland Browns, Jackson completed 20 of 25 passes for 275 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, with a quarterback rating of 152.1. He also rushed seven times for 45 yards, but it was his pinpoint passing that picked apart the Browns.
Leading up to Week 1, Browns defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said of Jackson, “I don’t think he turned into Aaron Rodgers.” But Jackson has a way of silencing critics, and he is changing the narrative that he can't dominate from the pocket. According to Pro Football Focus, only Rodgers was a more efficient pocket passer than Jackson in Week 1.
Even when the Browns forced Jackson out of the pocket, he was lethal with his passing.
Jackson's offseason work has quickly paid dividends. He was particularly masterful during the Ravens' 99-yard drive to end the first half, a seven-play, 69-yard march that took just 35 seconds. Jackson completed five passes during the drive and capped it with a nine-yard scoring strike to Mark Andrews to give Baltimore a 24-6 lead.
"I feel like you couldn't do that drive any better than that," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "Those are situations where you can't run the ball, you can't take a sack, you can't throw a completion where the clock's going to be running, or you're going to be done.
"The whole offense deserves the credit for it. They all understood the situation. They all reacted perfectly. But, of course, the quarterback is the conductor, and Lamar has a real knack for handling situational football, especially as it pertains to the clock. It's something that he's really, really good at."
Jackson has made it clear that his No. 1 goal is win a Super Bowl, that individual honors simply don't mean as much to him. He was eager for the season to start, and he never entered a year feeling more prepared to play well. That was evident in Week 1.