Is Lamar Jackson the new and improved Michael Vick?
A week after Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram ran right over the Patriots, Jackson showed off his passing ability in a 49-13 blowout of Cincinnati. With three touchdown passes and just two incompletions, Jackson recorded his second perfect (158.3) passer rating of the season, matching the record set by Ben Roethlisberger in 2007. Lest you think Jackson would deprive fans of a rushing highlight, he threw in an electrifying 47-yard touchdown run in the third quarter in which he spun and sliced his way straight through a stream of Bengals defenders on his way to the end zone.
Injuries derailing the season of a team or individual is nothing new. So far this season, it’s been hand injuries – those of Stephen Curry, Kyle Lowry and Gordon Hayward – that have been the most significant, though the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics should be able to stay afloat in the Eastern Conference more than the Golden State Warriors have been able to do in the West.
What’s new is the 25-game suspensions – those of Wilson Chandler and especially DeAndre Ayton and John Collins – that have seemingly come out of nowhere to take a player away for nearly a third of the season. This should have been a big year of development for both Ayton and Collins, and maybe it still could be. But losing 25 games to an off-the-floor mistake is a significant setback for two of the league’s most promising young big men.
Dion Waiters’ 10-game team suspension is another story, not that significant in regard to the standings, but still a setback for a guy who has played just 120 games in his three-plus seasons in Miami.
So much to discuss this week!
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