Lamar Jackson unfazed by MVP talk, focus is championship

OWINGS MILLS — Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has put himself in the race for NFL MVP again.

However, his focus remains on winning a championship.

That’s the only accolade he wants to win this season.

“It’s an honor … just for me being acknowledged [and] just to be in that MVP conversation with great guys who [are] all up [there] being nominated for [it],” Jackson said. “But I’m just staying locked in. I’m trying to win, because I want another championship if anything [and] another trophy, if that means anything.”

Jackson has thrown for 2,934 yards this season with 16 touchdowns and six interceptions for a 97.7 quarterback rating over 13 games.

He leads the team with 644 yards rushing with another five scores. Jackson is the only quarterback in NFL history to produce six seasons of 600 or more rushing yards. He needs 56 more yards to reach 700 in 2023 and become the first quarterback in NFL history with at least 700 rushing yards in five consecutive seasons.

No other QB in NFL history has recorded more than three such seasons.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) throws against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half at SoFi Stadium. By Gary A. Vasquez-USA Today Sports

Perhaps most importantly to him, Jackson has led the Ravens to a 10-3 record, which is the best mark in the AFC.

Jackson missed five games in the past two seasons because of injuries, which put a damper on the Ravens’ playoff aspirations.

Now fully healthy, the Ravens are legitimate Super Bowl contenders.

Jackson understands what’s at stake for his team and the potential to capture the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.

“Every week has been a playoff game for us. We just have to keep staying locked in, and that’s only what we can control,” Jackson said.

The last time the Ravens earned the top seed was in 2019, the year Jackson also won the league’s MVP award. That year, Jackson became the only quarterback in NFL history to produce at least 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a season.

However, the Ravens were upset, 28-23, by the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional round.

Jackson does not want a repeat of that disappointment.

When asked about the biggest difference between this year and 2019, Jackson was at a loss of words.

He’s looking forward … not backward.

 “[I’m] four years older,” he said. “But I don’t know, man. I don’t know. I don’t know. I can’t say – not right now at least.” 

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