Athletes by Ariel Pacheco September 29, 2020
Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson aren’t the future of the NFL, they are the present. The Chiefs and Ravens faced off on Monday Night Football and gave us a preview of a matchup we should expect to see for years to come. Mahomes is just 25, Jackson is only 23.
Last season’s Super Bowl MVP was able to beat last season’s NFL MVP. The Chiefs came out on top 34-20, with Mahomes becoming the fastest quarterback to reach 10,000 passing yards in NFL history. Jackson struggled, and is now 0-3 against Mahomes in his career.
The two have had very short careers to this point but share a lot of similarities. Both teams came into the game at 2-0 and are Super Bowl favorites. Both players began their rookie seasons on the bench and won NFL MVPs in their first full season as the starting quarterback. And both have been on the cover of Madden.
Mahomes and Jackson represent the best rivalry between Black quarterbacks in NFL history. Michael Vick and Donovan Mcnabb were the closest things we’ve had.
Mahomes and Jackson have been very supportive of one another as well. In 2018, after Jackson finished his last year at Louisville, he watched Mahomes throw the ball at a workout.
His immediate reaction was “He’s awesome. How is he a backup?”
Jackson also knows Mahomes’ Super Bowl puts him in a different category. “I’ve got to win the Super Bowl. I’ve got to get to where he’s at.”
Mahomes has also shown love to Jackson, even in game.
What they mostly share in common is their unique skill set at the quarterback position. Both have tremendous arms and are able to extend plays with their legs. They are insanely smart and have become the leaders of their teams. They have been able to transform the quarterback position in the short amount of time they’ve been in the league.
What makes them special is not just that they win, it’s how they win. They are known for making highlight plays that are almost impossible for every other quarterback. This has led to both of their teams having two of the most explosive offenses in the past couple of seasons.
They are also changing the way we view the quarterback position. For a long time, the quarterback position was mainly thought of to be for white players. Black quarterbacks were often moved to other positions, like running back and wide receiver. In week 1, there were a record 10 black starting quarterbacks. Their record that week was 7-3.
One of Jackson’s most famous quotes came after a game in which he threw five touchdowns last season. Coming into the NFL, his critics tried to argue that he would be better off switching positions.
“Not bad for a running back,” he said.
Jackson and Mahomes are immensely important to the NFL not just because of their skill, but because of what they represent. They are helping to grow the game by removing the stigma of Black quarterbacks.
“The best thing about it is you’re showing kids that no matter where you grow up, what race you are, that you can achieve your dream,” Said Mahomes leading up to last year’s Super Bowl.
Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson have revolutionized the quarterback position and the way we view it.