Heading into Sunday Night Football on NBC, the New England Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick seemed to be ready for a big victory. The longtime coach has been known for success against rookie quarterbacks, as well as those under 25 years of age, but Lamar Jackson changed the conversation. The Baltimore Ravens secured the 37-20 victory while the second-year starter out of Louisville became the first in a line of 20 young QBs to defeat the Patriots.
Throughout his coaching career, Belichick has been the coach that is Kryptonite for young quarterbacks. Whether it is Patrick Mahomes during the AFC Championship or two separate matchups with Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans, the Patriots have found ways to shut down young signal-callers.
Against Jackson, however, this was not the case. The Ravens young QB was very productive against the Patriots on Sunday night, throwing for one touchdown and rushing for another two. However, the plays that drew the most attention were those in which Jackson eluded multiple defenders and turned something negative into a positive for his team.
Lamar Jackson is just special. Probably the most overall talented player to play QB in the league.pic.twitter.com/B3A3scXDs7— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 4, 2019
As a defensive coach, Belichick has found some success stopping young QBs by throwing multiple looks at them on a play-by-play basis. These youngsters are still adjusting to the overall speed of the NFL while learning to recognize the various coverage, but the Patriots head coach just keeps them guessing.
Against Jackson, however, the Patriots defense couldn't make stops when needed, especially early in the game. The Ravens built up a 17-0 lead before halftime and only gave up part of the lead after some ill-timed mistakes. Once the game was competitive again, Jackson took over and made the plays for his team while leading them to victory.
"What Lamar Jackson has, you can't teach," former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee said on Monday morning. "And when you are trying to defend that, you have to defend technique, you have to defend what tendencies are. Lamar Jackson is a cheat code. He breaks the code. He can do whatever the hell he wants to do whenever the hell he wants to do it."
While Jackson is still growing as a quarterback, he is certainly drawing attention for the plays that he makes with both his arm and his legs. Patriots QB Tom Brady even came up to him prior to Sunday's game to let Jackson know that he is a fan. He also tracked down the Ravens QB following the game to tell him that he played great.0comments
Defeating a Belichick-led defense is never a simple matter, especially for young quarterbacks. However, Jackson ultimately proved that it was possible, and he did so while increasing the likelihood that the Ravens will be a playoff team once again.
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