NFL Week 3's top game is unanimous: It's Lamar Jackson vs. Patrick Mahomes
Yahoo Sports NFL senior writers Terez Paylor, Kimberley A. Martin and Charles Robinson select games this week that will leave us buzzing heading into Monday.
Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs
Come on, is there any other choice? Patrick Mahomes! Lamar Jackson! It’s the next generation of NFL quarterbacks!
This game is also about the defenses that must stop them. Baltimore is hoping its new safety, future Hall of Famer Earl Thomas, can prevent the big plays downfield that Mahomes hammered the Ravens with in their 27-24 win last December. In fact, Thomas is betting on it, even saying as much during a news conference this week.
On the flip side, the Chiefs' new (and improved?) defense faces its first significant test of the offseason, against one of the NFL's most dynamic offenses through two weeks. If Jackson and the Ravens get the best of the Chiefs, it will put the NFL on notice that Baltimore is a major threat and will sound off alarm bells in Kansas City, where fans have gotten weary of seeing the defense come up short when it matters.
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Ravens at Chiefs
This was supposed to be the year Patrick Mahomes regressed, right?
Lamar Jackson isn't a legitimate pocket passer, you say?
Plenty of people have been proven wrong about these two signal-callers so far. While their skills are vastly different, both Mahomes and Jackson are leading their respective 2-0 clubs.
On one side is the reigning MVP. On the other? A former Heisman Trophy winner. And, this time, Jackson is determined not to lose in Kansas City.
The first loss of his career came at the hands of the Chiefs in Week 14 last year. Jackson, who started the 2018 season as the backup to Joe Flacco, showed promise, but his fumbling issues and the Ravens' limited offensive game plans raised questions about the rookie's long-term potential. Jackson — who leads the league in QB rating and is tied with Mahomes and Dak Prescott for the most touchdown passes — looks like a different player this year. Or better yet: He looks like a second-year QB whose coaching staff is playing to his strengths and surrounding him with top-flight talent.
Meanwhile, Mahomes — who also leads the NFL in total passing yards and pass plays more than 40 yards — is as impressive as ever.
The quarterback youth movement is in full effect across the league and these two young guns are leading the surge. So regardless of which team wins, football fans won't be disappointed.
Ravens at Chiefs
If I had only one choice, I can’t imagine watching any other game this coming weekend.
Through two weeks, the quarterbacks in this matchup are both MVP frontrunners. That’s going to be a theme throughout the season with the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson. Barring injuries, this could very well be one of the league’s marquee quarterback matchups for a decade and beyond.
And when that kind of thing develops, nothing is better than having seen the earliest ones. That alone is worth the price of admission in this game.
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