OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Year by year, game by game, snap by snap Lamar Jackson feels the speed of the NFL slowing down. In 2021 he is benefiting in the way he is throwing the football and taking his own game to another record-breaking level.
"Ever since I came in the league it’s been getting slower and slower each and every year and this year I feel like it’s been getting slower earlier," he said.
Jackson was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday after his four touchdown, franchise-record 442 yard performance on 37-of-43 passing on Monday. He rallied the Ravens from down 19 points in the third quarter, down 16 in the fourth, to the 31-25 overtime win over Indianapolis. He thinks he’s just getting started.
"I really haven’t seen my peak yet. It’s still early in the season. Just got to keep staying focused."
Monday’s historic performance is still wowing those close to him less than 48 hours later.
"He definitely went to another level in that game. That level was pretty unprecedented, I would say, and it was awesome to watch," said head coach John Harbaugh.
"Magical," laughed defensive tackle Brandon Williams. "That’s the only way I can describe it. Just seeing what he does on the field day in and day out every Sunday is just spectacular."
Next up is a clash with another AFC contender. The 4-1 Ravens host the 4-1 Chargers on Sunday afternoon.
Like the Ravens, L.A. boasts one of the NFL’s best young quarterbacks in Justin Herbert. The Baltimore defense knows it has to be better than Monday night when it allowed the Colts 513 total yards. 402 of those came through the air. Tackling continues to be a critical concern.
"Sometimes we just get too crazy and just start running like a chicken with its head cut off and then we don’t really settle down and actually get the play down," said Williams. "So, it’s just up to us to just calm ourselves down."
Linebacker Jaylon Ferguson returned to practice on Wednesday. He was activated off of the COVID-19 list. Sammy Watkins missed the workout after injuring his hamstring on Monday. There was no update from Harbaugh regarding a timeline for the veteran receiver’s return.