NFL Winners and Losers: Maybe this is the season Lamar Jackson can make a playoff run

Lamar Jackson has started 70 regular-season games. The Baltimore Ravens have won 52 of them, a winning percentage of 74.3%. To put that in perspective, among quarterbacks with 200 career starts, only Tom Brady's teams had a better winning percentage — and not by much. Brady's winning percentage was 74.9%.

That's great and all, but it doesn't erase another number: 25%. That's the Ravens' winning percentage in the playoffs with Jackson as a starter.

NFL quarterbacks aren't judged by how many games they win in the regular season. A few quarterbacks have overcome a lack of a championship to be considered among the all-time greats. Dan Marino, Dan Fouts and Warren Moon come to mind. But it's rare.

Maybe this is the season Jackson changes that part of his story. The Baltimore Ravens again looked like one of the best teams in the NFL, handily beating the NFC West-leading Seattle Seahawks, 37-3. It was about as impressive as beating the NFC North-leading Detroit Lions 38-6 a couple of weeks ago, another sign that Baltimore has an argument to be known as the best team in football.

Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens had another dominating performance on Sunday. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens had another dominating performance on Sunday. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

As with any great quarterback, it's not just Jackson leading the way for the Ravens. Gus Edwards continued his hot streak with a couple of touchdowns. Undrafted rookie running back Keaton Mitchell emerged with a 100-yard game. Baltimore ran for 298 yards.

The Ravens' defense is superbly coached and had another big day in shutting down a Seahawks offense that has dangerous players all over the field. Baltimore outgained Seattle 515-151, and keep in mind that Seattle is a first-place team that was 5-2 before Sunday. Head coach John Harbaugh has put together a Hall of Fame résumé — and without any sign-stealing schemes.

And Jackson has been very good all season, as usual. He seems to be getting more comfortable in a new offensive scheme that highlights his passing ability. Jackson came into Sunday's game with a completion percentage above 70, something he's never done over a full season. He had a passer rating above 100, which would be the second time in his career. The other time? He won MVP. Jackson didn't have a huge game Sunday but mostly because the Ravens didn't need it. The Seahawks weren't competitive enough to force the Ravens into passing.

Jackson might win MVP again. He's in the argument, though mostly because nobody else is running away with it. But that doesn't matter. Regular-season wins don't matter much either. The reason the Ravens paid Jackson $260 million was to win a Super Bowl. That's the only thing that will significantly change Jackson's legacy. The Ravens keep showing they have the type of team that can get him there.

Here are the rest of the winners and losers from Week 9 of the NFL season:


C.J. Stroud: The Houston Texans had a day they'll remember for a long time. When Coleridge Bernard Stroud IV wins an NFL MVP someday — let's be honest, it looks like he's on that path — Texans fans will remember Sunday as one of the biggest steps toward his superstardom.

Stroud rallied the Texans to a go-ahead touchdown, hitting Tank Dell with six seconds left to lift Houston to a 39-37 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Stroud threw for 470 yards, breaking Andrew Luck's record for most passing yards in a game by a rookie, and five touchdowns.

Stroud has already arrived as a star. Sunday will be a hallmark day in his career and Texans history. Houston has its franchise quarterback.

Kenny Moore II: Who else could it be from the Indianapolis Colts’ 27-13 win over the Carolina Panthers?

Moore became the first player in Colts history with two pick-sixes in the same game. Both came off Panthers rookie Bryce Young, who will have to endure more comparisons to C.J. Stroud after Stroud’s unbelievable performance in Week 9.

The Colts are 4-5, and while they’re probably not going to the playoffs this season they are staying in the race. Moore was the biggest reason they got the win on Sunday.

Jordan Love, for at least a week: Love is already on the hot seat as Green Bay Packers quarterback. The team has let it be known the final 10 games of the season will be very important for his future.

Love wasn't great Sunday and the Los Angeles Rams didn't put up much of a fight, but at least it was a step forward for the besieged QB.

Love was solid in the Packers' 20-3 win over the Rams. He had 228 yards and a touchdown. The Rams were without Matthew Stafford and backup Brett Rypien was bad, but Green Bay can't be picky. Neither can Love. His touchdown in the fourth quarter to tight end Luke Musgrave sealed up the win.

It's not a game that will convince the Packers that Love is the permanent answer. But it wasn't bad.

Sam Howell: He has had his low points as Washington Commanders quarterback this season, but he's making progress.

Howell followed up a 397-yard game against the Philadelphia Eagles with 325 yards against a Bill Belichick defense on the road in a 20-17 win over the New England Patriots. The Commanders held on when Mac Jones' pass went through JuJu Smith-Schuster's hands in the final minute and was picked off.

Washington will have to make a lot of important decisions based on what happens in the second half of the season. Howell continues to make his case to be the team's quarterback next season and perhaps beyond.

Kansas City Chiefs defense: While the Miami Dolphins continued their "the lights are too bright!" routine against good teams, the Chiefs' defense will probably continue to be the most overlooked part of the NFL season.

The Chiefs took on a Dolphins offense that everyone wants to compare to the Greatest Show on Turf and shut them out in the first half. The defense made the play of the game, a strip of Tyreek Hill that turned into a lateral and a touchdown just before halftime. One of Miami's two touchdown drives was a 27-yarder after a fumble. And while Tua Tagovailoa helped the Chiefs out in the final minutes by air-balling a throw on third down and fumbling a snap on fourth down, Kansas City got the stop it needed to clinch a 21-14 win.

We're still waiting for a Chiefs offense that didn't score in the second half to come around. But these days, Kansas City is being carried by a top-10 defense. That's a big change.


Dak Prescott: He wasn’t the reason the Dallas Cowboys lost on Sunday. But it doesn’t matter because they lost, and Prescott wasn’t the reason they won.

Prescott gets blamed whenever the Cowboys lose a big game, and they came up short against the Philadelphia Eagles in a huge NFC East game on Sunday. The Eagles won 28-23 and Prescott had a few plays he’d probably like to have back.

Prescott stepped out of bounds just before scoring a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter, which took a game-tying field-goal attempt off the table in the final two minutes. Prescott took two straight sacks and threw an incompletion on fourth down in Eagles territory with a little more than a minute to go. The Cowboys had a huge chance after that when D’Andre Swift fumbled, but Dallas couldn’t recover and that allowed the Eagles to punt it deep into Cowboys territory.

Nov 5, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham (55) pushes Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) out of bounds short of a two point conversion during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Dak Prescott came up short on a key two-point conversion in Dallas' tight defeat against Philadelphia. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cowboys still had one more shot. A pass to CeeDee Lamb got the Cowboys a first down at Philadelphia’s 11-yard line with 27 seconds left. But Prescott took a sack and that put the Cowboys in a huge bind. Lamb caught a pass just short of the goal line as time expired.

Prescott threw for 375 yards and three touchdowns. He was very good. But take a Cowboys fan’s temperature and see if they’re talking about what a great game Prescott played at Philadelphia.

Brian Daboll: It keeps getting worse for Daboll in his second New York Giants season.

On Sunday, Daboll’s Giants were smashed 30-6 by the Las Vegas Raiders, who changed their head coach, general manager and quarterback this past week. You can blame Daniel Jones’ in-game injury on some of that loss, but the Giants decided Tommy DeVito should be their backup. That’s the bed they made.

The troubling thing about the 2-7 Giants is the lack of fire and effort they show. That has been a problem since very early in the season. It’s too early to turn the heat up on Daboll but when you get outcoached by Antonio Pierce in his first game as interim coach, it’s not going well.

Jaren Hall: Hall, a fifth-round rookie quarterback, was promised only one start for the Minnesota Vikings. The team traded for Joshua Dobbs, who will presumably take over as the starter in place of Kirk Cousins. But Hall got one start to show what he could do.

It lasted less than a quarter. Hall took a hard hit and was ruled out with a concussion. Dobbs had to come in, just days after he was acquired in a trade. Dobbs had a fantastic performance considering he had been with the Vikings only a few days, leading a last-minute 31-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons. There's no reason for the Vikings, who are in playoff contention at 5-4, to not start him next week against the New Orleans Saints. It was an impressive game for Dobbs, a big win for the Vikings and a rough way for Hall to end his first NFL start.

Hall might get more starts as his career goes on, but that's not guaranteed. He was good in his limited time, completing five of six passes for 78 yards. But it had to be crushing to get an unexpected shot and have it end so quickly.

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 05: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Clayton Tune (15) is hit as he throws by Cleveland Browns safety Juan Thornhill (1) during the third quarter of the National Football League game between the Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns on November 5, 2023, at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Cardinals quarterback Clayton Tune took a pounding against the Browns on Sunday. (Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Bad quarterback play: There were plenty of backups playing Sunday, and we'll use Clayton Tune as the prime example of what happens when starters are hurt.

Tune, a fifth-round draft pick, got his first start as the Arizona Cardinals continue to slow-play Kyler Murray's return. Tune didn't resemble an NFL quarterback. At the end of three quarters he was 6-of-17 for 27 yards against the Cleveland Browns. Tune didn't even try to throw it downfield. He was sacked seven times, threw two interceptions and had a 20.8 passer rating in a 27-0 loss. There was plenty of bad football in the early games Sunday and the Cardinals led that list.

Murray should return soon and the Cardinals should be more watchable with him. It can't be worse.

Tyson Bagent: Bagent might not be the Chicago Bears quarterback after Sunday. Justin Fields has a chance to return to the lineup Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers.

Bagent did some good things replacing Fields, especially as an undrafted rookie from Division II Shepherd. But he also has a lot of things to clean up. Bagent threw three interceptions in the Bears' 24-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The Saints didn't play that well and the Bears had a shot at the win, but Bagent couldn't do enough to lead Chicago to victory.

Bagent will get other chances. His first stint as a starter was mostly positive, and it might be a while before he gets a shot to develop further.