Thanks to his ability to attack opposing defenses with his legs as well as his arm, Lamar Jackson has been compared to Michael Vick since he first took the field at the University of Louisville.
The comparison makes sense. Though there have been other dual-threat quarterbacks who mirrored Vick in the past, none have done it quite as well as Jackson has thus far in his young career.
Yesterday was just the latest example, as Jackson threw for 143 passing yards while nabbing 116 rushing yards, stats which earned the 22-year-old his fourth double-triple (at least 100 yards in two different statistical categories in the same game) of his young career.
With four double-triples already, Jackson is now tied with Russell Wilson — who hasn’t had a 100-yard rushing game since 2014 — for second on the NFL’s all-time list. In first place for quarterbacks with eight double-triples? Vick.
But while Vick was able compiled that number over 143 games spread out over a 13-year career, Jackson has been able to do it in just 23 games (with only 14 starts). It’s difficult to do a statistical comparison between the two since the sample size for Jackson is so small but, up to this point, he’s actually fared a bit better than Vick did over the same period.
Though Jackson is averaging fewer yards passing than Vick during his first two seasons, he’s rushing for more yards per game, being sacked and intercepted less, and rushing and throwing for virtually the same number of touchdowns. Jackson’s record over his first 14 games as a starter (11-3) is also better than Vick’s was (8-5-1), as is his completion percentage (61 percent compared to 51.6 percent).
It’s worth pointing out that those stats take into account last season, when Jackson took over for Joe Flacco halfway through the season; the picture gets even rosier for Jackson if you just look at what he’s done on a per-game basis in his second year, and his first as the locked-in starter.
To be fair to Vick, the passer-friendly era Jackson plays in certainly has to be taken into account when comparing the two, though it shouldn’t swing the argument back in his favor. This year, Jackson has been an above-average passer in yards, touchdowns and passer rating. As SB Nation points out, Vick didn’t make it into the top half of the league in any of those stats until his sixth season in the NFL, when he was 10th in touchdown passes in 2006.
Even Vick himself once said of Jackson, “That’s a dangerous man behind center … He’s going to be hard to deal with for a long time.”
Based on Jackson’s number thus far, that prediction appears to be right on the money.
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