Image: Associated Press

OWINGS MILLS, MD – As we all prepare to gather amongst our families this Thanksgiving, there are many things that we are all thankful for. Whether it is your health, new job or love, we are all grateful for something special in our lives. In the case of the NFL and its fans, they are both thankful for the league’s newest breakout superstar in Baltimore Ravens quarterback, Lamar Jackson.

Jackson, a 2016 Heisman Trophy winner out of Louisville, was selected 32nd overall in the 2018 NFL Draft by outgoing Ravens’ outgoing Hall-of-Fame general manager Ozzie Newsome, has set the league on fire and put all the other 31 teams on notice that passed on him, that he is the future of football and that the future is now.  In what can be simply described as a brilliant performance under the lights of Hollywood against the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams, Jackson became the first player to pass for five touchdowns in Monday Night Football debut, throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,500 yards in his first two seasons as well as 50 rushing yards and four passing yards in consecutive games in NFL history during the Ravens 45-6 rout of the Rams.

While the names of fellow black quarterbacks such as Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes and DeShaun Watson have been mentioned as front-runners for NFL MVP, it may be time to just hand the award over to the 6’2, 22-year-old native out of Pompano Beach, FL instead.

To burrow from his self-anointed hype man in Ravens running back—and fellow Heisman Trophy winner—Mark Ingram, but Jackson is the MVP of the league

Before and during the 2018 NFL Draft, there were many experts and critics that wondered if Jackson could develop into a quarterback or was just an athlete playing QB. There were even some rumors about teams wanting to look at him as wide receiver as well. Call it racial profiling or stereotyping of the modern-day black quarterback, but clearly, these so-called experts didn’t take the time to Google Warren Moon, Doug Williams or even the late Steve McNair. For whatever rhyme or reason, there has always been this proverbial Jim Crow-like anathema towards athletic and mobile dual-threat black quarterbacks and so-called concerns as to whether they can play it at the next level on Sundays.

Thanks to carving up the defenses of the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks and the aforementioned Rams in succession like turkeys and helping lead the Ravens to a 9-2 record, in addition to being the ONE team that Brady and Belichick don’t want no part of in either Foxboro or Baltimore in January, Jackson is simply invincible and unstoppable.

A sunglasses-wearing, cornrow-braided gazelle-like talent that has left gridiron warriors both dazed and confused, Jackson is the ultimate cheat code that is ½ Michael Vick with better touch, ½ Randall Cunningham with crazy agility and a touch of Florida speed, Jackson is the rarest of the rare in that he cannot be defended in the conventional ways of football and is simply the face and prototype of NFL quarterbacks present and future.

Watching him break containment and get to the edge, you might as well prepare to make reservations for six and sub your PAT team in as he dashes past your sideline on the way to the end zone. Like an ice-cold knife through creamy hot butter, Jackson slices through defenses with the greatest of ease. Like the air we breathe, the closest you can get to touching him is the vapor trails he leaves in his wake.

Like the Roman god of speed, he is the otherworldly football version of Mercury. Slippery, quick-silver like and not worthy of the grizzled men that he makes look like mere mortals on God’s day of rest. Getting the chance to witness Jackson’s ascendant rise, that is why both the league and all fans should be thankful in getting to see the next level of American’s true passion.

If you have a problem with it, come at me because I’m about that. Big Trust!

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