Myles Garrett Says He'd Take Joe Burrow Over Lamar Jackson
Myles Garrett has given Lamar Jackson and the Ravens some bulletin board material.
During an appearance on FanDuel TV's "Up & Adams" ahead of Sunday's game between Cleveland and Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium, the Browns All-Pro defensive end was asked by host Kay Adams who the better quarterback is between Jackson and the Cincinnati Bengals' Joe Burrow.
Garrett initially hedged by praising both, but when Adams pressed him as to which one he'd take, Garrett said: "Well I'm taking down Lamar, but I'll take Joe right now in terms of who's got the nod over the other right now."
During the conversation, Adams said she believes Garrett has sacked Jackson four times. Garrett seemed surprised.
"Only four?" he replied.
In the Ravens' 28-3 win at Cleveland in Week 4, Jackson completed 15-of-19 (79 percent) for 186 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for two touchdowns. Garrett had one sack. He has seven career sacks against the Ravens, but not all have been on Jackson.
Analyst Disses Jackson for Having Nine TD Passes
There have been countless bad takes on Jackson over the years, but this one from Fox Sports analyst and former NFL head coach Eric Mangini is among the worst.
Mangini pushed back on the narrative that Jackson has improved as a passer and is thriving in new Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken's offense.
"I love his completion percentage. I think it's fantastic. I don't love his nine [passing] touchdowns," Mangini said. "In his MVP year, he had 36 touchdowns. When you look at it, he's got the same amount of sacks as he had last year; he's carrying the ball the same amount as he was in the past; his interception rate is essentially the same.
"I know we want to look at this and say Lamar has changed dramatically as a passer, but, OK, if nine touchdowns through nine games is the benchmark when we've seen him throw 36 touchdowns through 16 games, I'd say that we're really not hitting on all cylinders."
Talk about oversimplification. It appears that Mangini's analysis is based on looking at the stat sheet and not watching any film.
Sure, stats play a role in the MVP race, but so should what your eyes tell you. Regardless of the number of touchdowns he has been directly involved in, Jackson has masterfully orchestrated an offense that has scored 106 points in its past three games (35.3 average).
Perhaps Mangini is miffed because he has Jackson on his fantasy team.
NFL Executives Predict Ravens-Eagles Super Bowl
ESPN polled a number of NFL executives for their Super Bowl prediction, and the consensus pick was the Ravens versus the Philadelphia Eagles.
"Philly vies for a third Super Bowl appearance in six years, while the Ravens would record their first appearance since the Joe Flacco-led Ravens got there in the  season," ESPN's Jeremy Fowler wrote.
One AFC personnel evaluator said: "Baltimore is legit. Quietly, the defense always has been very respected, but to me the last 2-3 years it hasn't been as good. But this year's defense is matching up with just about anybody, and the new offense helps as well."
Ravens Earn A-Plus Midseason Grade From Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated’s Matt Verderame handed out midseason grades for every AFC team, and the Ravens were the only ones who got an A-plus.
"Very few people were discussing the Ravens as a legitimate threat to emerge from the AFC, but here we are," Verderame wrote. "Baltimore leads the league in sacks, Lamar Jackson is thriving in coordinator Todd Monken's scheme, and the result is a 7-2 mark. The Ravens have a tough schedule ahead, but they appear more than capable of handling it."
Meanwhile, television analysts from around the league continue to praise the Ravens.
NFL Network's James Palmer said Baltimore has all the ingredients to be the best team in the NFL.
"When you have a player at quarterback that is playing at an MVP level in Lamar Jackson; you have a great coaching staff from your head coach on down to the coordinators; and then you have balance and depth, I think that makes you extremely difficult down the stretch," Palmer said.
CBS Sports color analyst Tony Romo, who was on the broadcast for the Ravens' 37-3 rout of the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, said Baltimore is the most complete team he has seen this season.
"Baltimore doesn't have a weakness," Romo said. " … If they go on and handle these next two games against two teams (the Browns and Bengals) who are very physical and very good, watch out."
Three Ravens Named Midseason All-Pros
Jackson and inside linebacker Roquan Smith made Pro Football Focus’ Midseason All-Pro first team, and safety Geno Stone was a second-team selection.
"Jackson's 86.6 PFF passing grade — which would be a career high — ranks third in the league, and he leads all quarterbacks with 428 rushing yards," PFF's Gordon McGuinness wrote. "He has already forced 26 missed tackles on rushing attempts this season, six more than the second-ranked quarterback, and his 14 big-time throws are tied for eighth in the league. New Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken has helped unlock Jackson and the Ravens' passing attack, but the former league MVP's own development has been just as important to the offense's success."
McGuinness also named Jackson the Midseason MVP.
Regarding Smith, McGuinness wrote: "Following up on a fantastic second half of 2022 with the Ravens, Smith is on pace to shatter his career-high PFF grade. He sports an 88.3 mark through nine games. He is the engine powering the Ravens' league-leading defense, and his 90.1 PFF coverage grade ranks tied for third at the position."
- Defensive tackle Justin Madubuike was No. 5 on "Good Morning Football’s” Gerald McCoy’s list of top five underappreciated pass rushers.
- The Ravens are No. 1 in Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd's “Herd Hierarchy” for the third week in a row.