With the Ravens trailing the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter of Sunday’s wild-card game in Nashville, quarterback Lamar Jackson took matters into his own hands.
Jackson sprinted for a 48-yard touchdown with 2:32 to go before halftime, tying the game at 10. It was just shy of his career-long 50-yard touchdown run, which came in a win over the Washington Football Team on Oct. 4. According to NFL Research, it was the second-longest touchdown run by a quarterback in a playoff game in NFL history, trailing only Colin Kaepernick’s 56-yarder for the San Francisco 49ers in a 2012 divisional-round win over the Green Bay Packers.
The play came at a crucial time for the Ravens. Facing third-and-9 near midfield, the Ravens trailed 10-3 and were in danger of giving the ball back to the Titans before halftime. But Jackson eluded the pass rush, stepped up in the pocket and sprinted down the right sideline for the game-changing score.
“It’s best run I’ve ever seen by a quarterback,” coach John Harbaugh said.
According to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Jackson reached a top speed of 20.52 mph on the run, the seventh-fastest speed by a quarterback this season. Jackson is responsible for three of the fastest seven plays by a quarterback this season, with a top speed of 21.01 mph.
Jackson, the first quarterback in league history to rush for 1,000 yards in multiple seasons, traveled 71.2 yards of distance from snap to the moment he crossed the pylon, the most yards Jackson has traveled on a play as a ball carrier in his career.
The 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player finished with 136 rushing yards to secure his first playoff win after losing to the Titans in the divisional-round last season and to the Los Angeles Chargers in the wild-card round as a rookie in 2018.
“It’s win or go home right now. I want to win regardless,” Jackson said Wednesday. “I don’t really care what people got to say. I’ve only been in the playoffs twice in my young career. Other people have been in the league forever and haven’t been in the playoffs at all. It is what it is, but [I’m] definitely trying to erase that narrative right there. That’s No. 1 on my mind, for sure.”
The Ravens rallied to victory after trailing 10-0 in the first quarter. Jackson was 0-6 in his career as a starter, including the playoffs, in games in which the Ravens fall behind by at least 10 points.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Jackson joined Kaepernick as the only quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era to record 100-plus rush yards and a rushing touchdown in a playoff game. Kaepernick holds the record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a playoff game with 181. San Francisco great Steve Young’s 594 rushing yards in 22 games are the most in playoff history by a quarterback. Jackson has 333 in three games.
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Jackson also recorded 137-plus yards both as a passer and as a rusher for the third time in his career. He’s the only one to do it in the playoffs, and he’s done it twice.