Lamar Jackson has been embarrassing opposing defenses week after week this season, but Eric Mangini isn’t sure how long the Ravens quarterback will be able to keep it up.
Jackson turned in a statement performance Sunday night in Baltimore, racking up three total touchdowns in an impressive win over the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. Not only are the Ravens arguably the Patriots’ biggest threat in the AFC, but the case can be made Jackson currently is a top-five MVP candidate.
Mangini, however, seems to believe it’s only a matter of time before Jackson and Co. are brought back down to Earth.
“Look, I was impressed by Baltimore to some degree,” Mangini said Monday on FS1’s “Speak For Yourself.” “I think if this is how you want to play football and you want to take your quarterback and turn him into a running back who also happens to pass every now and then, then that’s great. You can’t sustain it. There’s a lot of good, young running quarterbacks. There aren’t very many good, old ones. When you consistently expose a player like that to hit after hit, it’s the law of averages in the NFL and it’s going to catch up to you. The same thing happened with Colin (Kaepernick). The other aspect is as these guys get paid, they don’t want to run like that anymore. It’s a totally different equation. They get the big contract, they stop being the run-first quarterback you want them to be and they have to be the pocket passer. If Baltimore can play football like this and control games, they’re in good shape. If he has to come out and win the game throwing the ball, they’re not in good shape. They’re not built to do that. So yeah, from this formula perspective, it was good. Is it sustainable? I don’t think it’s sustainable and I think you have a real problem if you gotta come out and try to win the game throwing the ball.”
Mangini isn’t the only pundit who’s not banking on continued success from Baltimore and its dual-threat signal-caller. Despite successfully betting on the Ravens to beat the Patriots, Jason Whitlock couldn’t help but notice how quickly Bill Belichick was able to slow Jackson down. It was too little, too late for New England thanks in large to a bevy of self-inflicted wounds, but Whitlock is confident the Patriots would take down the Ravens if the teams were to meet in January.
An inability to sustain historically has been a trend among running quarterbacks in the NFL, so maybe Ravens fans should enjoy this while it lasts.
Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images