They’re under 26, won MVPs and they can apparently do it all Monday night the NFL gets a boost from the latest episode of their best current rivalry
Apparently each generation of the NFL is defined by classic clashes between the league’s top quarterbacks Their teams often contend for championships, but their styles of play are also indicative of the strategies in vogue at the time, pocket couriers to audible-loving game managers
On Monday night, fans can watch the final installment of the league’s most compelling quarterback rivalry when Patrick Mahomes, 25, and the Kansas City Chiefs travel to Baltimore to take on Lamar Jackson, 23 , and the Ravens It won’t look anything like those rivalries of the past, as these young quarterbacks are the archetypal athletic, run-and-gun improv stars who have supplanted the old pocket couriers.
There’s a lot at stake beyond bragging rights for the Chiefs, who have won the last two clashes with the Ravens and are defending a Super Bowl title, or the Ravens, who were fired from the playoffs. after finishing last season 14-2 Both teams are 2-0, and since Jackson became a starter in November 2018, they may be the most dominant NFL teams in
And this year’s playoff format, in which only the top team in each conference gets a first-round pass, means Monday’s game could turn into a tiebreaker if the Chiefs and Ravens finish with identical records
The pairing will not necessarily define the future of the league in strict opposition to one another Mahomes and Jackson have been friends since college, and Ravens coach John Harbaugh spent nine years as an assistant under Chiefs coach Andy Reid when Reid was in charge of the Philadelphia Eagles.
This time around Mahomes vs. Jackson is a clash between back-to-back Most Valuable Player Award winners, the first such meeting between two Under-26 winners This is a notable contrast to other expected clashes this season, including a duel between Drew Brees and Tom Brady, which failed.
TV ratings have plummeted in some major markets, and prime-time game numbers have been lower than last year as the glut of sports forces football to fight to grab viewers’ attention Mahomes and Jackson’s rapid rise and dynamism have wider implications for the NFL
« All these new quarterbacks in the league, these new youngsters, it’s great for the National Football League, and these two are some of the best, and they’re great friends too, » said Reid. Thursday « It’s really fun to watch them grow up »
In his fourth season only, Mahomes has a league MVP award and added the Super Bowl MVP last season. He went 26-7 as a regular season starter, and he threw for 5,000 yards in his second season The The power of the Mahomes star has garnered him plenty of support, but this summer he has become more comfortable using it to draw attention to racial injustice. He joined other leading players in a video that called on the NFL to recognize Black Lives Matter and is among the athletes and artists involved in the More Than a Vote initiative to register voters and fight voter suppression.
Jackson, who entered the league a season after Mahomes, is almost as accomplished, with his record run sometimes distracting from his rapid improvement as a passer His record as a starter is 21-3, and last season he was named MVP after throwing 36 touchdowns and running seven more, setting a quarterback record with 1,206 rushing yards while also achieving a incredible 69-yard average at range The Ravens haven’t lost a regular season game in almost a year
Like Mahomes, Jackson extends the game by scrambling in and out of the pocket, and he’s not afraid to use his strong arm to shoot passes in traffic, rarely making a mistake
« It’s the modern NFL right here, the athletic quarterback who can always get by, be off-schedule and creative, and do something with nothing, » said Doug Flutie, who had a reputation for improvising. during his two decades in the NFL and the Canadian Football League « They’re everything I’ve tried to be as a quarterback It’s so fun watching them »
The emerging rivalry between Mahomes and Jackson is also the most important game between the renowned black quarterbacks, a position that was historically closed to non-whites, in the history of the league. There have been other showdowns between the black quarterbacks including Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb But neither has been voted Most Valuable Player or had such extraordinary success so early in their careers.
And although there have been 10 black starters in Week 1 this season, including Russell Wilson of the Seahawks and Dak Prescott of the Cowboys, who met for the fourth time on Sunday in a 38-31 victory. in Seattle, Mahomes and Jackson became the faces of the NFL, on and off the field
“These two guys are at the top of the chain,” said Warren Moon, the most prominent black quarterback of his generation. “These guys aren’t just quarterbacks for their teams, they get heavy recommendations and they lend their voice to social justice causes »
Mahomes got the better of Jackson in their two clashes, both played in Kansas City In December 2018, Mahomes and the Chiefs beat the Ravens in overtime, 27-24 last season, also in week three. , the Chiefs won again, 33-28, as the Ravens failed to overcome a 17-point deficit
This time the teams will end up in Baltimore, but without supporters, possibly reducing the home field advantage for the Ravens
« I don’t know how it’s gonna feel, » Jackson said « But it’s gonna be an exciting game The whole world is watching »
Given their youth and the fact that they play in the same conference, Mahomes and Jackson are likely to face each other multiple times, just like Brady and Peyton Manning have for a decade and a half. This duo have met 17 times, with Brady winning 11 of the clashes, but Manning has won three of the five times he’s played Brady in the playoffs.
Assuming Jackson and Mahomes stay healthy – a big question, given the danger they put themselves in by going out of pocket so often – they are likely to become a part of the NFL calendar
« These guys will be able to play the game however they want for 10 or 12 years, » said Flutie
Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, NFL, Monday Night Football, Patrick Mahomes II, Lamar Jackson
World News – United States – Jackson-Mahomes III: « The Whole World looked »
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