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Late for Work: Analytics Show Lamar Jackson Was Better in the Clutch Than Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady Over Past Five Seasons

QB Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson

Analytics Show Lamar Jackson Was Better in Clutch Situations Than Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady Over Past Five Seasons

Despite being a two-time league MVP and helping the Ravens become perennial Super Bowl contenders, Lamar Jackson will probably always have his share of naysayers no matter how much he accomplishes.

Warren Sharp of Sharp Football Analysis made a couple posts on X yesterday that will likely trigger Jackson's critics.

Sharp dove into the analytics to rank the "most clutch quarterbacks when you gotta have it." Specifically, it's the quarterbacks who performed the best when trailing in the final five minutes of the game, based on EPA (extra points added) per dropback.

Jackson was No. 3 on the list, trailing only the Cincinnati Bengals' Joe Burrow and Buffalo Bills' Josh Allen. He was one spot above the Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes and two ahead of future NFL Hall of Famer (and recently roasted) Tom Brady.

Sharp also researched which divisions are the toughest to play quarterback in from 2020-2024. The AFC North ranked No. 1 based on past defensive success rate allowed; No. 1 based on past defensive completion percentage allowed; and No. 2 based on pass defense EPA per attempt allowed.

The high level of defenses Jackson faces within his division every season makes his .753 career winning percentage all the more impressive.

Ravens Are Ready for Prime Time

With the release of the NFL schedule imminent, asked five of its analysts which team should play in the most prime time games this season.

David Carr said the Ravens deserve to have the spotlight on them under the bright lights more than any other team.

"The Ravens will be fascinating, so long as Lamar Jackson is under center," Carr wrote. "The two-time MVP never fails to entertain viewers with remarkable playmaking ability through the air or on the ground, and he's now joined in the backfield by Derrick Henry, one of the best running backs of this era. Not to mention, Baltimore brings back the majority of its defense, which ranked first in points allowed in 2023. This is a team ready to make another push for a Lombardi."

The Ravens have quite a few marquee-worthy matchups on their schedule. In addition to its AFC North rivals, Baltimore will face the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, and Houston Texans. There's also the made-for-prime-time battle of the Harbaugh brothers between John's Ravens and Jim's Los Angeles Chargers.

Not surprisingly, the Chiefs were the popular choice to have the most prime time appearances. The upstart Texans also got a vote.

Nate Wiggins-Malik Nabers Named Most Exciting Rookie Matchup in 2024

The New York Giants also are on the Ravens' schedule, and NFL Network’s Charles Davis said the most exciting rookie matchup this season pits Ravens first-round cornerback Nate Wiggins against Giants first- round wide receiver Malik Nabers.

"The speed of Wiggins, the tenacity and competitiveness of Nabers," Davis said. "Can't wait to see how that goes, because one thing we know about Wiggins: If you go to Baltimore, you gotta play like a Raven. And we're gonna see if he rises to that level, matches what you know Nabers is going to throw at him."

The explosive Nabers, the sixth overall pick, had 89 catches for 1,569 yards and 14 touchdowns for LSU last season.

Wiggins, who had the second-fastest 40-yard dash time (4.28 seconds} at the NFL Combine, surrendered just 18 receptions on 41 targets for just 176 yards last season with Clemson.

Ravens Players Who Could Be Among Most Improved in 2024

Ravens Wire’s Glenn Erby named 10 Ravens who are prime candidates to make the most-improved list this season. Here's a look at four:

WR Rashod Bateman

"In 2023, Bateman caught just 32 passes for 367 yards and one touchdown despite playing in all but one game and starting 12 contests. A 2021 first-round pick, Bateman missed most of his second season after having foot surgery. He was still dealing with the effects last season after finishing with 56 targets, the fourth-most on the team behind Zay Flowers, Odell Beckham Jr., and Mark Andrews."

OLB David Ojabo

"An obvious choice as a former second-round pick, Ojabo has been limited to five games over his first two seasons. Still, he offers pass rush prowess, and Baltimore needs production at the edge rusher position after losing Jadeveon Clowney."

CB Jalyn Armour-Davis

"The 24-year-old cornerback landed on injured reserve in December and has struggled to stay on the field throughout his two-year NFL career, appearing in just 12 of Baltimore's 34 games. The Alabama product has been solid on special teams and could break out in 2024."

OLB Tavius Robinson

"Another obvious choice, the former Ole Miss pass rusher, was a fourth-round pick in 2023 and will see his snap shares increase with Jadeveon Clowney on the Panthers. Robinson saw 335 defensive snaps, logging 26 tackles and one sack."

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