Here’s a minute of test to make a decision whether a football player is spectaular passable to be concept to be appointment viewing: Shut your eyes and image him up 18 aspects in opposition to a winless opponent on a sunny tumble afternoon. Would possibly perchance presumably well impartial accrued you see him play in a blowout, even supposing you are going to be the usage of this time to retract part in seasonal actions fancy apple selecting and vest-carrying?
Lamar Jackson passes this test with flying colours, and ought to you abandoned the Baltimore Ravens’ victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday then that approach you overlooked the very finest highlight of the NFL season. No longer even a bushelful of ripe Cortlands will convince you in any other case.
The Ravens won, 49-13. While the pause result became once a foregone conclusion given the gulf in abilities between the two teams, no one can accuse Jackson of being predictable. The networks will seemingly be airing replays of his Forty seven-yard landing toddle for decades. Everyone is conscious of this on anecdote of a identical play has held a monopoly available on the market for electric quarterback runs for the final 17 years: Michael Vick’s 46-yard stroll-off past peculiar time jaunt for the Atlanta Falcons in opposition to the Minnesota Vikings in 2002.
The runs are no longer the same, though you enact have to squint at instances to notify them aside. Jackson and Vick both roll left after faking handoffs, outrun the major stage of the defense, after which produce their opponents atomize into every a quantity of fancy the Three Stooges all the contrivance thru a tragic ice fishing expedition.
So, which one’s greater?
The stakes. Vick’s highlight became once an actual sport-winner, whereas Jackson’s merely added to an infinite zero.33-quarter lead. That Falcons victory came all the contrivance thru Week 13 and helped them sneak into the playoffs, as they’d lose three of their four final games to enact the season 9–6–1. Baltimore, on the a quantity of hand, would possibly impartial no longer ever lose one more sport on anecdote of Lamar Jackson is an invincible demigod made of pure electrical energy.
The opponents. The Miami Dolphins would possibly impartial comprise long gone into the season with the goal of losing as many games as that it’s seemingly you’ll perchance presumably presumably recall to mind, but it completely’s the Cincinnati Bengals who are actually executing this realizing to perfection. They’re zero–9 after Sunday’s loss, and within the event that they arrange to receive the major total purchase within the draft, then Jackson’s toddle would possibly as correctly be the highlight of their season, too.
The 2002 Vikings weren’t precisely world-beaters, either, and that past peculiar time loss sank them to a 3–10 anecdote. They did comprise Randy Moss, though, and that’s one thing that completely can’t be stated of the 2019 Bengals.
The name. Kenny Albert is a genuine announcer, but he became once oddly restrained all the contrivance thru Vick’s mazy toddle: “Within the course of the 20, Vick, into the pause zone … Falcons purchase in past peculiar time!” I’d by no approach notify one more educated how one can enact his job, but Albert would possibly impartial accrued have not lower than concept to be sharpening up his name by screaming, “Boost!” or “That’s gotta harm!” when the two Vikings defenders crashed into every a quantity of. At the least he would possibly comprise made an explosion sound alongside with his mouth.
We had been blessed to comprise Kevin Harlan within the booth for the Ravens-Bengals sport, and the deliriously relaxing play-by-play man did no longer disappoint. Much less than per week after his A+ radio name for the MetLife cat’s determined on-self-discipline plug, Harlan introduced the products once again for Jackson’s toddle: “Gape at him crawl … OOOHH! HE BROKE HIS ANKLES! NOW HE’S GOT AN ENTOURAGE, AND HE’S GOT A TOUCHDOWN!”
Let Kevin Harlan stammer the whole lot. Even my ranking demise—factual be distinct you revive me for factual long passable so I will hear him on the replay.
The strikes. Every Vick and Jackson vulnerable blistering dart to outrun their opponents, but easiest one quarterback uncorked a hobble transfer within the beginning self-discipline. Love someone taking up the total overhead compartment alongside with his outsized raise-ons, Jackson’s juke became once both daring and coarse.
The shades. I point out, stare upon this guy. The Lombardi Trophy goes to rename itself after him.
Chalk it up to recency bias or the jury’s childish obsession with hobble strikes, but Jackson is the winner here. His Forty seven-yard landing toddle would possibly impartial no longer ever be topped (till he tops himself subsequent week in opposition to the Texans).
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Slash Greene is a Slate contributing creator.