Quarterback Comparison: Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Lamar Jackson
Sure, there’s an argument Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson could earn MVP accolades this year, while Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey should be in the discussion, too.
But let’s be honest, the award belongs to Lamar Jackson.
Jackson put an exclamation point on this bid with his five-touchdown performance against the Rams last week, which tied a career high. He also rushed for 95 yards, too, displaying the versatility and dual-threat capabilities, which have made him a budding star.
Jackson is completing 66.9 percent of his passes, which ranks 11th among qualifiers, and his 111.4 passer rating is third best. But what stands out is his 24 passing touchdowns, which is tied for the league lead with Wilson.
That’s potent enough, sure. But it doesn’t take into consideration the fact Jackson is averaging an astounding 7.1 yards per rush, thanks largely to the dynamic and intricate designed runs and RPOs called by the Ravens offensive coordinator, Greg Roman.
When Roman was calling plays for the 49ers’ own, Colin Kaepernick, back in 2012 and 2013, opponents put a stop to RPOs and read options by simply going after the quarterback. It worked well enough.
The problem facing Jackson, however, is he’s simply making those pass-rushers miss.
49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has gone through a four-game stretch where he was asked to do much more, particularly with the Niners’ own ground game faltering a bit and opposing teams stacking the box to take it away.
For the most part, Garoppolo delivered. He managed 11 touchdown passes over that span against three interceptions, while posting a 116.1 passer rating during those four games.
Having both wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and tight end George Kittle on the field at the same time helped immeasurably, too, as it gave Garoppolo added reliable targets while opening up other options on the field at the same time.
Overall on the season, Garoppolo is completing 68.8 percent of his passes, which ranks sixth among qualifiers, while his 100.6 passer rating ranks 10th.