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  • Lamar Jackson is a System Quarterback

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    Lamar Jackson is a system quarterback and he is the system.


    Lamar Jackson finally beat Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Better yet, he did so his way. The start was rough for him and the Baltimore Ravens as Tyrann Mathieu took back an interception for a touchdown quickly on the first drive.

    Jackson added another pick to his stat sheet before the first quarter ended. But this impressive defensive feat was not enough to deter the Ravens.

    As a Ravens supporter myself, I was close to chalking this one up to a “moral victory” which is the worst type of victory. A moral victory is when you throw in the towel and say, “well at least…” so you can make yourself feel better.

    I am a Chilean soccer fan who supports the South American national team. There’s a saying we have whenever we lose, “Jugamos como nunca, perdimos como siempre.” For my non-Spanish speakers out there, the saying translates to, “We played like never before, but we lost like we always do.” It highlights how, even though your team is playing well, they still end up losing.

    It was starting to feel this way whenever Jackson played Mahomes. The Ravens have lost three straight games when the two-generational quarterbacks have faced off. The criticism around this fact of Jackson’s career has been lingering as long as the “can’t win in the playoffs” narrative. He has now been able to cross those two off his list.

    Ravens fan or not, if you appreciate the game of football, you have to have an admiration for the relationship between Jackson and John Harbaugh. The trust the Ravens’ coach entrusts publicly in his quarterback is a thing to behold. It’s exactly the same as when Baltimore faced the Seattle Seahawks and went for it on fourth down.

     

    The Lamar System

    Lamar Jackson is an exceptional quarterback in today’s day and age, and I won’t have anyone else tell me differently. He may not win games in a traditional way, but Jackson puts his team in the best position to win football games. Now, I’m sorry for the clickbait-y title, but it’s too late to go back now.

    For those who don’t know, a system quarterback is not the best of compliments. It’s a statement that implies a quarterback who may be performing well isn’t all that talented but is more so a product of the coaching schemes.

    The best thing to happen for Jackson’s career was to be drafted by the Baltimore Ravens. I say this not to take away the extraordinary quarterbacking talent that he is, but to also compliment the head office. They created a new system for Jackson and allowed him to grow. That system is something no other QB would have thrived in as well as he has.

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    Let me say just one more thing before we go into the fantasy of it all. Lamar Jackson will keep winning if he continues to play his way.

    The Ravens QB is like a left-handed boxer in a world full of right-handed people. It sounds weird, but give me a chance. Critics say Jackson is ‘fighting’ the wrong way because he’s getting knockouts with his left when they’ve only seen right-handed KOs. Jackson is different. Once the critics get to him, he tries throwing haymakers with his right when that’s not his strength. He has to block out the noise.

    Now that was just a convoluted way of saying it’s fine that Jackson is a running quarterback. The fact that he is amazing in one facet of the game shouldn’t detract from his greatness. When Jackson runs, he’s adding another dimension to his offense which just makes it harder to start. This style of play even worked in the two-minute drill to get points on the board before the half ended.

    I’m sorry that this has essentially turned into a piece praising  Jackson but then again, I’m not really sorry. I am just as relieved as the organization is that we were able to go past this roadblock finally.

    Fantasy Outlook

    Remember how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers facing the Dallas Cowboys felt like mirror images offensively? Well, this series is quite the opposite. We’ll dive into what to do with the Ravens running back situation and how to tackle the Chiefs’ receiver room.

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    Kansas City Chiefs

    We’ll begin with the team that has appeared in the Super Bowl in back-to-back years. I’m not going to go over Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, or Tyreek Hill. If you have them, you’re starting them each week regardless of the matchup.

    Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe

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    I’ve just let you all in on how the fantasy gods decide which Kansas City Chief receiver (not named Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce) will outperform the rest on Sundays. It honestly feels like a toss-up at this point and not worth the headache.

    I wish I could offer you sage advice on who’s going to be the second in command. I wish I could, but this week there were two receivers who scored touchdowns who only had one reception each during week one.

    My advice to any of you fantasy footballers is to try and move on from them. If you have a receiver from Kansas City not named Hill, I would go ahead and trade them. Move on from them and collect something while you can.

    CEH

    Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The running back Mahomes coveted and convinced his team to draft in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The LSU running back struggled against the Ravens. He only rushed for 46 yards, had a touchdown vultured, and lost a costly fumble which sealed the game for Baltimore.

    If you’re deciding about moving on from Edwards-Helaire, I would listen to offers. A league mate of yours may try to see if he can steal the Chiefs’ running back from you and you should consider it. If the offer is right, I would pull the trigger on a trade request.

    Baltimore Ravens

    Now it’s time to move on to the winners of Monday Night Football. Similarly, we won’t discuss too much on Lamar Jackson or Mark Andrews, but we will talk about their receiver situation as well as the running back stable they have acquired since moving onto the fourth-string RB and company.

    Running Back Room

    With Ty’Son Williams, Latavius Murray, and Devonta Freeman in the backfield, I have one piece of advice. It aligns with a quote from the movie Braveheart, “HOLD!” I know I could have just said ‘hold’ without the introduction to it, but where’s the fun in that.

    Anyhow, the Ravens are going to use an RBBC approach to this backfield. It seems as if Ty’Son Williams will take on the J.K. Dobbins role, while Murray will play the part of Gus Edwards. Devonta Freeman may be worth a stash if you’re truly desperate for running backs but even then I’d consider other options.

    Marquise Brown

    Hollywood has arrived. Marquise Brown has begun to really take shape in the Ravens’ offense. The first-round pick struggled across his first two years, whether it be from injury or coaching schemes. It seems all of that is behind him and that he is truly ready to take on the mantle of the WR1.

    Conclusion

    Lamar Jackson is here to stay. He may not have a conventional style of play compared to most other quarterbacks in the league, but that’s because he isn’t them. He is a 24-year-old, MVP winner, and face-of-the-franchise quarterback.

    As far as the Kansas City Chiefs go from a fantasy offensive standpoint, I would avoid anyone not named Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, or Tyreek Hill. Everyone else is just too inconsistent. For the Baltimore Ravens, continue to stash Ty’Son Williams and Latavius Murray and begin to feel comfortable starting Marquise Brown going forward.


    Thank you for reading! Follow me on Twitter at @FFCAnabalon, and if you enjoyed the random assortment of letters and punctuation marks above, you can find more of my work here at idpguys.org

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