In 2018, both the Buffalo Bills and the Baltimore Ravens had drafted quarterbacks with their 1st round picks. While the Bills traded up to get the 7th overall pick, Baltimore got their man with the 32nd pick. Bills got Josh Allen, while the Ravens settled with Lamar Jackson.
Into their 3rd season, and the quarterbacks have established themselves in the league as superstars for the years to come. But the key difference that sets them apart from other quarterbacks is their dual-threat nature.
Lamar Jackson is already an MVP-winner and is the first quarterback in NFL history to have multiple 1,000+ rushing yard seasons. Allen himself is a rushing TD machine with 9 rushing yards already this season.
While both were criticized early in their careers for not being clinical passers of the ball, it’s an aspect that both have worked on over the years.
So with a clash of arguably the 2 best dual-threat quarterbacks in the offing, who will be the more influential figure when the two QBs meet for the first time in postseason.
The two sides have met in the past with both quarterbacks in the pocket. And both times, it was Lamar Jackson who came out on top.
The first time the two sides met was back in Week 1 of their rookie year. Both took limited snaps in the tie, but in the end it was the Ravens who steamrolled to a 3-47 victory.
The recent tie in 2019 was a much closer affair. Both quarterbacks had by then established themselves as starters in their respective teams. But even then, the Ravens ended the game with a win. And Lamar undoubtedly ended up having a better game than his Bills counterpart.
Lamar ended the night with 3 passing touchdowns and 40 rushing yards, while Allen only registered 1 touchdown and 9 rushing yards.
But 2019 Lamar Jackson was a different beast altogether. His performances warranted him the league MVP award in just his second season. But one might argue that going by this season’s performances, Josh Allen is the quarterback in better form.
Had Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes not put up incredible numbers over the course of the 2020 regular season, then Josh Allen would be a sure-shot favorite for the MVP title.
Allen registered over 4,500 passing yards and 37 touchdowns this season. In addition, he has 9 rushing touchdowns. Jackson, on the other hand, has faltered. By no means has he had a bad season, but his numbers fail to impress when put up against Allen’s.
Jackson managed to rack up 2,757 yards for 26 touchdowns. And had only 7 rushing touchdowns over the course of the regular season. One piece of good news for Jackson was that he seemed to have found form towards the latter stages of the season.
In the playoff game, Lamar displayed maturity in guiding his team to win against the Tennessee Titans. And his 48-rushing-touchdown is clearly the sign of a man running high on confidence.
Allen is coming in hot as well. In the game against the Indianapolis Colts, the QB registered 324 passing yards for 3 touchdowns. And he also recorded a rushing touchdown himself.
So given the style of play that both bring to the field, it’ll be key for either team’s defenses to stop the quarterbacks from extending plays. Their ability to dodge pressure in the pocket not only helps them stack up rushing yards but also gives them the time needed to make big plays.
All in all, the matchup should be a treat for those who enjoy seeing quarterbacks do the unconventional. Who do you think will end the night with a win at the Bills stadium?