Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson didn’t panic. He plotted. Down 19 points in the second half, Jackson sat down on the bench with wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to talk about how many scores the Ravens needed to win the game and executed the plan to perfection.
Jackson threw for a franchise-record 442 yards and four touchdowns, leading the biggest comeback of his career in an epic 31-25 overtime victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night. His five-yard touchdown pass to Brown in overtime lifted Baltimore (4-1) to its fourth straight win and into sole possession of first place in the AFC North.
“It’s one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.
It’s one of the greatest performances anyone has ever seen. As Jackson left the field, the fans — the ones that hadn’t left after Baltimore had fallen behind by double digits — loudly chanted “MVP!”
Here is how Jackson made history Monday night:
First quarterback in the league to complete 85% of his passes in a 400-yard game
First player in NFL history with 400 yards passing, four touchdown passes, no interceptions and 50 yards rushing
Highest completion rate in a 40-pass game in NFL history (86%, 37-of-43)
Told of some of his accomplishments, Jackson said, “Dang! I was just locked in. I was just calm. Everything was just moving slow, and I was just taking it a play at a time. That’s what it was.”
Jackson endured one of the worst starts of his career, managing the fewest first-half points (three) in his 42 starts. His fumble at the Colts’ 2-yard line led to Baltimore trailing 22-3 with 3:06 left in the third quarter, which seemed liked an insurmountable deficit considering the Ravens were 0-17 when trailing by 19 or more points in Harbaugh’s 14 seasons.
“I was ticked off. We needed that touchdown,” Jackson said of the fumble. “I was just praying we’d get another opportunity in my head. I didn’t really want to show everybody I’m praying. It’s good to pray now, but I was just like, ‘Man, we just need another opportunity, because I know what we can do.'”
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After that costly turnover, Jackson threw touchdown passes on his final four drives, hitting Brown and tight end Mark Andrews in the end zone twice apiece.
Jackson accounted for 499 of the Ravens’ 523 yards for an offense that lost wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring) and guard Ben Cleveland (knee) to injuries in the first half.
Harbaugh said there was never a point where the Ravens were going to give up.
“First of all, we have Lamar Jackson,” Harbaugh said. “Next of all, we have a bunch of guys just like Lamar Jackson, with heart, spirit, soul, persistence and all the other things.”
Entering Monday night, Jackson was 1-6 in his career when trailing by 11 or more points in the fourth quarter (including playoffs). His previous biggest comeback before this season was three points (Week 5 in 2019 at the Pittsburgh Steelers).
On Monday, Jackson became the first quarterback in the past 20 seasons to overcome a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter and finish with 400 yards passing and four touchdown passes.
“I feel like he got a lot of disrespect on his arm talent, and I think a lot of people are eating their words right now,” Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell said. “It’s just great to see it come out in big games, big moments, on Monday Night Football. Man, it doesn’t get any bigger than this. It’s huge.”
The only downside for the Ravens was watching their consecutive 100-yard rushing streak end at 43 games, which tied the 1974-77 Pittsburgh Steelers for the longest in the NFL. But all the Ravens will remember is how Jackson made history with his arm.
Jackson’s 335 yards passing in the second half and overtime were more than he had in any regular-season game of his career.
“He’s GOATed, man,” Ravens outside linebacker Odafe Oweh said. “We’re just watching history right there. It’s an honor to see that. He carried the team. He has the ‘no flinch’ mentality — they went through adversity as well.”
So, does this go down as the best game of Jackson’s career?
“I don’t know,” Jackson said. “We got the win. That’s all I care about.”