Two Running Quarterbacks With Different Styles Will Make History


The comparisons have been going all year.

Lamar Jackson and Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.

Lamar Jackson and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Lamar Jackson and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

Lamar Jackson and Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

But on Sunday, Jackson and the quarterback on the other side of the field will make history with the rushing resumes they bring into the game.

Jackson and the Buffalo Bills' Josh Allen have a combined 1,407 rushing yards this season. That's the most combined rushing yards by quarterbacks in the same game in NFL history.

In a league that is being revolutionized by a group of young, mobile quarterbacks, Jackson and Allen are two of the pack leaders. But they do it in very different ways.

"[Allen] leads the NFL in yards after contact. I think he averages 6.8 yards after contact as a quarterback. That's pretty remarkable," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

Asked whether Harbaugh would not want his own quarterback leading the league in yards after contact, Harbaugh smiled.

"Yes, that's a very good point. We don't want that. That's not the goal," he said. "Maybe yards after missed tackles, but not after contact."

Allen was drafted seventh-overall in the 2018 draft – 25 picks ahead of Jackson. He was the third quarterback off the board, following the Browns' Baker Mayfield and Jets' Sam Darnold.

Jackson said he and Allen talked some through the draft process, but Jackson hasn't really kept tabs on his progress.

"I'm focused on what we have going on, what we have in front of us," Jackson said. "I focus on myself and my teammates. I don't really care about what other people have going on, to be honest."

Jackson is an ankle-breaking, quick-twitch speedster who leads the league at 7 yards per carry. Every week, he puts a new move on his highlight reel. He also has more than twice as many rushing yards as Allen (977 to 430). Really, when it comes to running production, Jackson is in a class by himself.

Allen is more in the Cam Newton mold. He's three inches taller and 25 pounds heavier than Jackson, standing in at 6-foot-5, 237 pounds. The Wyoming product is a big dude who is hard to stop once he gets rolling.

Just check out this touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

By the way, Allen's eight rushing touchdowns this season are tied with Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley for the sixth-most in the league.

"I'll tell you, Josh looks good. He's really developed well. They're doing a great job with him there, developing him and building the offense around him," Harbaugh said.

"He's a big, strong-armed thrower. Sits in the pocket, he'll make every throw. He'll hold the ball to make the throws. He'll scramble out of the pocket and make plays with his legs."

Allen actually got his first NFL action in Baltimore. The rookie came in relief of Nathan Peterman last year in Week 1, when the Ravens were clobbering the Bills in rainy M&T Bank Stadium.

Allen looked pretty good, especially for thrown into the fire. He completed six of 15 passes for 74 yards and ran four times for 26 yards. He was also sacked three times. Allen, like Jackson, has made big strides over the past year.

He has one of the biggest arms in the NFL, but his accuracy was the question mark. Allen's completion percentage has jumped from 52.8 as a rookie to 61.5 percent as a sophomore. He's thrown 16 touchdowns to eight interceptions, but his 12 fumbles are tied for the second-most in the league.

The Ravens are doing their best to try to simulate his style in practice, and it's another week when having Robert Griffin III on the Ravens roster pays big dividends.

"I can't grow a couple inches. I'm not 6-5, I'm not 6-6, so it's hard to try to give [our defense] that visual," Griffin said. "But as far as little tells here and there, whether a guy scrambles or doesn't scramble … those are the things we focus on and how they go about their little mannerisms.

"He's an athletic guy, can throw the ball a county mile and he's an extended play guy. He'll extend some plays and make some throws on the run. If you take away the name, you'd think I'm talking about myself. So I don't have to do anything different."

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