On the other sideline: Lamar Jackson

Sports

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs with the ball for a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Ravens defeat Titans 20-13. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Saturday’s AFC Divisional match up will feature two first-round quarterbacks from the 2018 NFL Draft: Josh Allen vs. Lamar Jackson. While Allen is having a career-high season, Jackson is trailing to compete with his own stats from 2019 NFL MVP season.

Saturday won’t be the first time these two quarterbacks have faced each other. In Week 14 last season, Baltimore came to Buffalo and topping the Bills, handing them a 24-17 loss in a game in which Buffalo scored just one touchdown.

Jackson finished the 2019 match up with 185 total yards, 145 coming through the air, and three passing touchdowns in the Ravens victory.

But even if his stats aren’t where they were last season, Jackson is no easy task to handle.

The dual-threat quarterback threw for 2,757 yards and 26 touchdowns during the regular season, along with an impressive 1,005 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.

Known for his escapability and his sheer speed, the Bills defense will be forced to try to contain Jackson on Saturday, and recognize that if he can’t get the ball off, he has the ability to slide through defenses and extend plays with his legs.

In last week’s Wild Card game against the Tennessee Titans, that have plagued the Ravens for two seasons now, Jackson completed 17 of 24 passes for 179 yards and added 136 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown. He averaged 8.5 yards per carry in the 20-13 comeback win against the Titans, Jackson’s first playoff victory in his young career.

With the 2018 Draft class of quarterbacks in Jackson, Allen and Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield all winning their first playoff game in the Wild Card round, the AFC is setting an NFL record with the youngest group of starting quarterbacks in the Divisional Round. With Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes rounding out the group, the average age of the AFC quarterbacks in this round of the playoffs is 24 years and 245 days.

“I think it’s really been fun to watch their careers unfold,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said to reporters on Wednesday. “It’s cool to watch these players in their careers flourish like they have. Credit to Baltimore and the culture that Coach Harbaugh has created there. I’d say the same thing for us with Josh. It’s great for the league to have young quarterbacks playing like these two, Baker as well, like these guys are, and on the AFC side Patrick Mahomes as well. It’s great for the league.”

The Bills are preparing to host Jackson and the Ravens on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 8:15 on Saturday night football.

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