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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes became once the NFL MVP in 2018. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson won that award in 2019. Monday evening offered a possibility for either of the 2 youngest MVPs in contemporary league history to point to the football world that he must be viewed as the sport’s most handy participant faithful now.
Mahomes left no question.
In a commanding 34-20 Chiefs victory that became once extra lopsided than the rating indicates, the reigning Handsome Bowl MVP became once shut to wonderful. He completed 31 of 42 passes to eight varied receivers and produced five touchdowns along with his arm and legs in a dominant performance against a defense that ranked fifth in defense-adjusted designate over common final yr and became once third in that identical category entering Week 3.
Mahomes and Chiefs head coach Andy Reid spent a lot of the evening truly showing off. They moved the ball at their leisure, tinkered with trick performs and never looked intimidated in a high-time matchup with a personnel that went 14-2 in 2019 and hadn’t misplaced a standard-season game in nearly a calendar yr.
If not for a third-quarter Darwin Thompson fumble and a turnover on downs on Kansas City’s subsequent power, this can even were a blowout. Harrison Butker moreover surprisingly uncared for a discipline purpose, Mecole Hardman had a quasi-topple within the tip zone, and Baltimore’s Devin Duvernay returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
Restful, the statement became once made as the Mahomes-led Chiefs outgained the Ravens 517-228 by converting 10 of 13 third-down attempts in a game they managed from start up to steal out.
Mahomes sliced up one of the most game’s ideal defenses whereas laughing at Baltimore’s stubborn blitzing. He took zero sacks, averaged 9.2 yards per strive and posted a 133.5 passer rating whereas rushing four cases for 26 yards and a touchdown.
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He wasn’t as renowned on the ground as Jackson, who picked up 83 yards on nine attempts, nevertheless his scrambles had been swish, deliberate serve-breakers. The touchdown broke the ice on Kansas City’s opening power, and two of the assorted three came on scoring drives, the latter a important 12-yard create on a fourth-quarter third-and-10.
However the adaptation became once all about what Mahomes did—and what Jackson didn’t enact—within the pocket.
Mahomes’ three first-half deep completions to Tyreek Hill and Hardman had been works of artwork, and he moreover hit Hardman’s hands on what would were one other deep touchdown pass faithful sooner than halftime (it wasn’t a topple, nevertheless it absolutely became once bigger than catchable). The offense grew to develop to be extra conservative nevertheless remained ingenious within the 2d half (I mean, left type out Eric Fisher caught a touchdown pass), and the damage became once accomplished.
On the assorted facet, in a single of the biggest games of his younger carer, Jackson completed faithful 15 of 28 passes for 97 yards, or 3.5 yards per throw. Dropped passes had been an project beyond his regulate, nevertheless that doesn’t excuse his shoddy performance throughout the air against a faithful nevertheless not unbeatable defense.
Robert Mays @robertmays
Lamar Jackson is gorgeous, and he's going to be faithful swish. However the means he's playing tonight aspects to 1 other reason that Patrick Mahomes is varied. He's never played a rotten game. Lamar is at 2.3 yards per strive tonight. Mahomes has averaged not up to 6.0 in ONE game. Ever.
Jackson completed zero of his five attempts that traveled 15 or extra yards within the air, one of which came when he underthrew a breaking-start Marquise Brown on a probably fourth-quarter touchdown that would have given Baltimore existence. About a performs later, he took serve-to-serve sacks, and the game became once truly on ice.
Throw within the four sacks Kansas City recorded, and the Jackson-led Baltimore passing offense generated 70 yards on 32 dropbacks.
Mahomes has beaten Jackson in all three of their matchups. Jackson has completed faithful 52.6 percent of his passes in these games, whereas Mahomes has a 9-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
That is a limited pattern for both gamers, nevertheless it absolutely reinforces the notion that Mahomes is merely extra precious at this stage. He has the Handsome Bowl MVP, a 106.6 playoff passer rating and monster wins on his narrative against Jackson’s Ravens, Bill Belichick‘s Contemporary England Patriots and the Ben Roethlisberger-led Pittsburgh Steelers (to call about a).
Jackson’s Ravens have moreover beaten Belichick’s Pats as effectively as the 2019 NFC champion San Francisco 49ers, nevertheless he is misplaced both of his playoff games, he is got a postseason rating of 68.3, and he is upset in all three of his head-to-head battles with the league’s varied 25-or-below megastar quarterback.
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That does not imply Jackson also can not ever develop to be as precious as Mahomes. He’s 16 months younger, and he came into the professionals with extra work to enact than most quarterbacks. His growth up to now is mind-blowing, and an argument would be made that his ceiling is even bigger than that of Mahomes.
Actually, Jackson outperformed Mahomes within the process of earning MVP honors final yr. But Mahomes is extra healthy now, and his Chiefs have won 12 consecutive games relationship serve to mid-November and his 2d game serve after a knee damage.
These bumps within the boulevard would possibly maybe maybe have price Mahomes a shot at a 2d consecutive MVP award, nevertheless he showed Jackson and everybody else within the sports world Monday evening that there is nobody extra precious faithful now than No. 15.
Brad Gagnon has lined the NFL for Bleacher Sage since 2012. Apply him on Twitter: @Brad_Gagnon.