A win is a win to Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, even if it comes against six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and the undefeated Patriots.
“I’m trying to win versus anybody I play,” Jackson said after the Ravens handed Brady and the Patriots their first loss of the season Sunday night. “I don’t really dwell on one player or this is a guy I want to beat.”
Jackson out-dueled Brady, completing 17 of his 23 pass attempts for 163 yards and a touchdown. The 22-year-old also flashed his elusiveness as a runner, getting sacked only once for a loss of a yard and rushing for 61 yards. Jackson rushed for two of the team’s five touchdowns and threw for one, dancing into the end zone for the opening score and getting pulled in by offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to seal the victory to the tune of “M-V-P” chants in the fourth quarter.
To have such a performance against Brady and the Patriots, though? Jackson shrugged at its significance, noting he doesn’t like to hype up specific games.
“I’m playing ball, no matter who we’re playing,” Jackson said. “I’m happy to get the win, of course, especially at M&T Bank Stadium. It’s pretty cool, but I don’t really care because it’s against Tom Brady. I just want to win.”
Jackson said he was focused on playing his game, even though the Patriots showed him the greatest variety of looks he’s seen all season. As a rushing threat, Jackson said he spotted cornerback Jonathan Jones and linebacker Dont’a Hightower as “spies,” floating players intended to tackle him if the passing play broke down.
But Jackson didn’t seem fazed by the coverages or the moment. Ravens coach John Harbaugh highlighted the second-year passer’s high football IQ and poise, calling him “wise beyond his years.”
“He just did a tremendous job of making the changes at the line he needed to make and then making the plays he needed to make once the ball was snapped,” Harbaugh said. “He did a great job [Sunday] and I think the whole world saw it.”
Several of Jackson’s teammates echoed the crowd after the game and dubbed him MVP. Jackson expressed appreciation for the support but maintained his sights on something bigger.
“I want something better than that,” he said.
With the 37-20 victory, the Ravens improved to 6-2 and sit atop the AFC North. As the playoff picture starts to take form, the team currently holds the No. 2 seed in the conference, behind only the No. 1 Patriots.
“Our team already knew what we were capable of,” Jackson said. “We just had to show it. We did that [Sunday]. We just have to build off that. We can’t just get on our high horse and feel like we won the Super Bowl because we didn’t. That’s just one regular-season game.”