Patriots

So far, the Patriots have kept Lamar Jackson in check. Will they do it again on Sunday?

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) looking to quit during the first half of the NFL game against the New York Jets on Sunday, September 11, 2022 in East Rutherford, NJ (AP Photo / Adam Hunger) Press association

With a slight nod of his head and a slight hint of a smile, Bill Belichick told reporters Wednesday that Lamar Jackson answered the pre-sketch questions about his game.

“Without a doubt,” said Belichick. “He’s the type of player, the type of candidate for MVP. I think more than he answered them. But we will see what his contract is, it will answer them.

Even so, the two-time Pro Bowler doesn’t have the guaranteed money they want. He staked out $ 250 million by rejection of Kruk’s offer at the beginning of September to extend the contract.

After a brutal loss to Miami, when the Dolphins defeated Baltimore 28-3 in the fourth quarter, the stage is set at Foxborough for a big game against a team that the Ravens have fought 4-11 since 1996.

Jackson has shown over the years to be one of the NFL’s most dynamic talents, but has never dominated New England like he has other teams.

Could he set fire to the Patriots for the first time on Sunday with additional motivation to win a new contract?

Below average against New England

The sample size for Jackson’s performances against New England is small. These are just two games.

Jackson went 17-on-23 with 162 yards and a touchdown with the Patriots during his 2019 MVP season. He scored some quick touchdowns, but this was below average by his standards. However, it was enough for The Raven to beat the Patriots by three points.

The Patriots won in 2020, when Baltimore and New England met for the last time. Jackson’s quarterback rating for the game was 59.8, roughly half of the 120.1 passes Jackson had had in his first two games this season.

His stats are 24/34 for 246 yards, a couple of touchdowns and an intercept. Patriots held him 55 yards without rushing to touchdowns.

He never scored more than three touchdowns or launched more than 61 yards against the Patriots.

He ran 119 yards and scored four touchdowns last week as The Ravens scored 37 in a Dolphins defense that held the Patriots seven points in the opening season.

The Patriot Defense passes the best test against a quarterback yet

The Patriots’ defense has been strong so far, finishing fourth in net yards per game (275) and eighth in points per game (17).

But they haven’t faced a quarterback like Jackson yet.

Dolphins QB Tagovailoa never lost to New England and made six touchdowns last week, but he hasn’t shown he can do it on a regular basis.

Mitch Trubisky did not pose much of a threat to the Patriots last week.

Sunday’s match against Baltimore will be intriguing. Belichick praised Mark Andrews as one of the best tight ends in the league. Rashod Bateman became Jackson’s main target in the first two games.

The Ravens have yet to show that they have a lot of effective att*ck to the rush apart from Jackson who has 143 of the 218 yards to the rush of the team.

Sunday’s game will be a great test for the Patriots’ defense and an equally big test for Jackson.

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