Lamar Jackson may have wanted the world to view him as an all-around quarterback coming out of college—but he wasn’t one. He was a capable passer, but not a great one. His most significant impact was as a running threat, which is fine. But, coming out of college, he wanted to be viewed as a total quarterback and not just a running QB.
Running quarterbacks don’t tend to last in the NFL, so that is understandable. Michael Vick had a good career overall and even became a decent passer after getting out of prison and resuming his career. Cam Newton has done well, but he and Vick are the exception to the rule.
So, what does he do in his first start as a rookie? He throws the ball 19 times and completes 13 for 150 yards and an interception. But he also ran the ball 26 times for 119 yards.
He went on to start the last seven regular-season games for the Ravens in 2018. In those games, he ended up completing 92 of 158 for 1114 yards and ran the ball 119 times for 556 yards—which has some wondering how many times he will carry the ball this season.
BetRivers is offering a prop bet for those willing to wager on what that number may be:
- Player Total Rushing Attempts in the Competition – Excluding Playoffs
o Over 190.5 +117
o Under 190.5 -143
That translates out to a 58.85 percent chance he will have less than 190.5 carries and a 46.08 percent chance he will—which means that oddsmakers at the sportsbooks are not sure how many carries he’ll have throughout a full season.
In the seven games he started he averaged 17 carries for 79 yards a game. For a 16-game season, it comes out to 272 carries for 1,264 yards, easily breaking Michael Vick’s single-season rushing record (1039 yards set in 2006).
It would have crushed the single-season rushing attempt mark set by Bobby Douglass back in 1972 (141). But he beat that, anyway (147).
So—what will he do this season? Jackson has said he thinks he will run less this season, via ESPN:
“…I don’t think I’ll be running as much as I did last year. There were a lot of [run-pass options] and a lot of sudden changes in last year’s game. This will be totally different.”
But when Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was asked about Jackson’s workload and how it may compare to Cam Newton’s single season-high of 139 carries, he said (PFT):
“I’d bet the over on that one. I’d bet the over for sure on that one.”
Ideally, less running would be preferred. Otherwise, it will be hard to keep Jackson healthy and on the field. But while the Ravens did upgrade their receiving corps in the offseason, Jackson is still a subpar passer. For them to win games, he will have to run.
He will not average 17+ a game this season, but he will average from 12 to 15 carries a game– which would cover the over.