Historic Night for Lamar: Ravens v Chiefs game review

The first ever unanimous NFL MVP puts his stardom on display once again as he styles on the hot Houston Texans through the air and on his feet!

Lamar Jackson is hailed as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and he’s currently the betting favorite to win the MVP for the second time, but, even with his great personal success, he has struggled in the playoffs. Lamar Jackson was 1-3 in the playoffs heading into the highly anticipated matchup with the very hot Houston Texans, who are coming off a blistering 45-14 win over the Cleveland Browns in the wildcard. The win over the Browns was so prolific as this was rookie quarterback CJ Stroud’s very first playoff game in his career, and it was against the number one ranked defense in the NF. 

The media was pushing this game all week as the matchup of the playoffs, with both teams riding on high momentum, the Ravens being the #1 seed in the AFC, and having multiple pro-bowlers and all pro-players, including MVP favorite Lamar Jackson. The Texans could match the firepower the Raven’s withheld, as they had star players as well, like CJ Stroud, Devin Singletary, Will Anderson, and hard-hitter Jalen Pitre.

The high-stakes weren't based solely on the players on each team, as this isn’t the first time these teams have met this season. In the opening week of the season, these two teams went head-to-head in a convincing win for the Ravens, ending 25-9.

The game would start a little slow for the Texans, as they would get smothered on their opening drive against the suffocating Baltimore defense, and the deafening home crowd they had behind them. The crowd was so loud it made it hard for the Houston line to hear their quarterback hiking the ball, resulting in multiple flags and penalties, hindering their forward progress on the field. They would eventually get the ball into field goal range and settle for a three point lead. The Texans defense would have a heavy load in store for them, as they had to stop Lamar and his star receiver, Zay Flowers. The Texans defense bent and didn’t break as they held the Ravens to a field goal, which is exactly what they needed. 

Entering the second quarter, action wasn’t exactly the theme of the game so far, with multiple punts, until one punt to Texans returner Steven Simms broke multiple tackles and housed the punt for a touchdown! The momentum completely swung into Houston’s favor as they now held the lead 10-3. However, the Raven’s would get the ball back, and Lamar would march down the field like a true MVP and toss a 3-yard touchdown to veteran receiver Nelson Agholor, and the first half would come to a close tied 10-10.

One of the key components to being a star quarterback in the NFL is your leadership ability, and Lamar showcased his captain capabilities during the half, as in his post-game interview he said, “I did the halftime talking… and there was a lot of cursing”. You can only imagine this is what lit the spark in his team, as they would receive the ball to open the second half.

The Ravens wasted no time in the second half, as Lamar would march down the field once again, tossing his second passing touchdown to Isaiah Likely for 15 yards. The score now being 24-10 for the Ravens, CJ Stroud needed to step up and eat into that lead the Ravens had. Unfortunately for Stroud, the Ravens’ defense only started to hit harder and suffocate even stronger. The tired offensive line couldn’t handle the pressure the Ravens continued to send, which gave Stroud an impossible mountain to climb, resulting in back to back punts.

The Ravens’ and Lamar Jackson capitalized on the weak Texans offense, and exhausted defense. Lamar stands out from other quarterbacks in the NFL because of his deadly dual-threat ability, being able to pass the ball as good as any quarterback, and being able to run the ball as good as any running back. Lamar closed out the game with two rushing touchdowns, running the score up to 31-10. The game would close out with a Justin Tucker field goal, ending the game 34-10.

Not only did Lamar carry his team to an AFC Championship, and an opportunity to play in the Super Bowl, he solidified himself as the MVP, and a unicorn in the NFL, being the first ever player to have two passing touchdowns, 100+ passing yards, 2+ rushing touchdowns, and 100+ rushing yards in a game, let alone a crucial playoff game!

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens will defend home territory against the reining Super Bowl Champions, The Kansas City Chiefs, this Sunday!