In the 2018 NFL Draft, both Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson were taken in the First Round. Allen went at number five to the Buffalo Bills. Jackson went at number 32 to the Baltimore Ravens. However, both quarterbacks being taken in the first round is not their only similarities. Let’s look a little deeper at the matchup.
The career passing stats are really close for the two QBs. Allen edges out Jackson in total yards 9,707 to 7,085. However, Jackson has the edge in overall passer ratings 102.6 to 90.4 for their careers.
This 2020 season, even with everything going on with COVID-19, Allen’s passer rating is 107.2, with 396 completions on 572 attempts for 4,544 total yards. That is a 69.23% completion rate—truly great numbers. Likewise, Jackson’s passer rating is 99.3, with 242 completions on 376 attempts for 2,757 total yards. Giving him a 64.36% completion rate. However, Jackson missed a game due to COVID-19 protocol. One would have to think the numbers would be closer with that one game. To sum up the passing stats, the similarities are kind of scary. Only slight edges to each quarterback one certain passing stats. But so very close in overall numbers.
Jackson takes a bit of an edge in the rushing stats. 482 rushing attempts for 2,906 yards to Allen’s 300 attempts for 1562 yards. For their careers. One can see by the career numbers that Jackon seems to be a run-first quarterback. However, is he truly looking to run-first, or is he just taking what the opposing defense gives him and taking off downfield?
For this season. Jackson has 1,005 yards on 159 attempts, his longest being 50 yards. Allen answers with 421 yards on 102 attempts, his longest being 24 yards. So Jackson has more yards, longer yardage runs, and averages 6.3 yards/carry. Neither quarterback fumbles much while running the ball. The decision to run has never been more evident than in the Wildcard games. Each QB put their team on their backs and got the hard yards to keep the chains moving.
Of course, great quarterbacks are surrounded by other great players. A solid running game helps solidify the passing game, and without a solid offensive line, a quarterback is picking himself up all the time.
Some would believe Jackson’s O-Line is one of the reasons he runs so much. The pressure gets through, and he can scramble and make a play. However, with the Ravens averaging 11.4 yards receiving. If the pass play is there, he has no problem getting the ball out to WR Marquise Brown, TE Mark Andrews, over 700 yards. Above all, that should show us the time is there for him to throw the ball. Furthermore, with the run game stepping up as well, the Ravens are well rounded surrounding Jackson.
The Bills are just as well suited for their quarterback. The O-Line gives Allen plenty of time to stand in the pocket, find his receiver, and deliver the ball. WR Stefon Diggs led the league with 1,535 yards. The TE position is not as prominent, but they are there when needed. Likewise, the running game for Buffalo has been steady throughout the season.
To sum up, these young QBs are very similar. Where Jackson runs a bit more, Allen takes to the air more. Their teams build and fill to the QB’s needs. In the end, each QB does whatever is needed for their team to get the victory and, in this week’s case, move on to the AFC Championship round. This may be my favorite game of the entire playoffs. I can’t wait to get this one started.