The Denver Broncos have never faced a quarterback like Lamar Jackson (they did face Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens in 2018 but Joe Flacco was starting at the time).
Jackson’s a quarterback, but he’s as elusive as (and perhaps even more elusive) than the NFL’s best running backs. Jackson’s dual-threat ability makes him extremely difficult to defend against.
“It’s hard,” coach Vic Fangio said Monday when asked about defending Jackson, who the Broncos will face in Week 4. “That’s why the guy has won an MVP. That’s why the Ravens have won a lot of games since he’s become their starting quarterback. He’s hard to contain. He’s a special talent. It’s almost like Barry Sanders is playing quarterback. We’ll try our best.”
Fangio’s comparison to Sanders wasn’t intended to be a slight. Jackson has faced some criticism from and pundits who dub him a RB playing QB, but defensive-minded coaches like Fangio understand and respect how difficult a player like Jackson is to defend.
Jackson currently has the fourth-most rushing yards in the NFL (251) and his 8.7 yards per pass rank seventh-best in the league.
“The thing that gets lost — because he’s so spectacular running the ball — is this guy can throw it,” Fangio said Wednesday. “He’s a complete quarterback and he’s tough. He’s one of a kind, thank God.”
Fangio indicated he’s never faced another QB like Jackson, not even Mike Vick, the only other QB who has rushed for 1,000 yards in a single season.
“I would say Vick is probably the [best] comparison, but not even,” Fangio said. “This guy is shiftier.”
Jackson will face Fangio’s defense for the first time in his career when the Ravens take on the Broncos in Denver on Sunday afternoon.
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