Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are not only some of the league’s best young quarterbacks, but are some of the league’s best quarterbacks in general. Yet, which young franchise quarterback will be the NFL’s best quarterback in 2020?
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What place is better to start than examining last year’s statistics? Jackson not only won the NFL’s MVP award, but threw for 3100 yards, 36 TDs, and 6 interceptions, while adding 1200 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns via his legs.
Last season, Jackson made defenders look silly, constantly using hesitations and spin moves to break the ankles of anyone who tried to tackle him. His efforts last season helped punch the Ravens into the playoffs where they ultimately lost to the Tennessee Titans.
Mahomes’ play in 2019 was less productive than in his own MVP campaign in 2018. Yet, Mahomes was still super efficient in 2019, throwing for 4,000 yards, 26 TDS, and 5 interceptions in 14 games. Although Mahomes is not nearly as agile as Jackson, his great mobility to get outside of the pocket and make plays on the run is what makes him so dominant.
Not to mention, Mahomes won Super Bowl MVP honors after leading the Chiefs to comebacks in each of their playoff wins. Mahomes’ game time mentality, especially in the playoffs is what may give him an edge to Jackson in the hunt to become the league’s best quarterback.
However, what supporting casts do Mahomes and Jackson have around them that will help them succeed in 2020? Starting with the offensive line, both the Chiefs’ and Ravens’ offensive lines are among the NFL’s best. Although the Ravens probably have a better offensive line than the Chiefs, with talented lineman like Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher in Kansas City as well as Ronnie Stanley in Baltimore, Mahomes and Jackson won’t find trouble staying upright.
When it comes to skill players though, Mahomes simply has better targets. Tyreek Hill is not only one of the NFL’s fastest wideouts, but is also one of the NFL’s best. And Travis Kelce is the league’s best tight end. Nothing against Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews, but Hill and Kelce are simply better football players. Additionally, the Chiefs’ Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman are capable targets, while Willie Snead and Miles Boykin may not be good enough to be legitimate number two receivers in Baltimore.
Yet, the running game is where things get interesting. First round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Damien Williams headline a strong running game in Kansas City, while in Baltimore former Heisman winner Mark Ingram and second round running back JK Dobbins look as if they can hold their own.
To add problems to Jackson’s case, the loss of Marshal Yanda on the offensive line in Baltimore cannot be forgotten. Although Yanda’s absence won’t destroy Jackson’s ability, Yanda’s pro bowl abilities will surely be missed.
With superior weapons in Kansas City, Patrick Mahomes looks ready to march into 2020 as the NFL’s best passer. Even though Jackson is unrivaled with his legs, Jackson’s ability in the playoffs, as well as his pure arm talent are no match for Mahomes’ cannon. Yet over the next decade, look out for Mahomes and Jackson as they try to beat each other out in the quest to be named the NFL’s best quarterback, and in an attempt to get to the Super Bowl year in and year out.