The year was 2019. Wherever you went, whatever you read or watched, you could not escape Lamar Jackson. The jaw-dropping runs, the record-breaking statistics, the Big Truss. Lamar was the story of football that fall.

The 2023 regular season didn’t produce as many “SportsCenter”-leading highlights for Jackson, but there were plenty of electric plays sprinkled across what many expect to be his second MVP campaign.

Here are eight moments that defined No. 8′s phenomenal year, in chronological order.

Week 2: 52-yard completion to Zay Flowers

If Jackson’s instant connection with Zay Flowers wasn’t evident enough during training camp, it became obvious just how in sync these two were in Week 1. The rookie topped all Ravens receivers with nine catches for 78 yards in a 25-9 win over the Texans, kicking off his 858-yard season.

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Though Nelson Agholor’s 63 receiving yards led Baltimore in its Week 2 game in Cincinnati, Flowers’ spectacular grab in the third quarter was the highlight for the offense. Jackson threaded a deep ball between the trailing Cam Taylor-Britt and the converging DJ Turner II for a 52-yard bomb.

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Jackson reached a career high in passing yards this season, and his 67.2% completion percentage – also a career high – is a big reason. Throws like this to Flowers are an example of just how accurate Jackson was in 2023.

Week 4: 43-yard completion to Flowers

All of the talk heading into the Ravens’ Week 4 game against the Browns was about defense. Through the first three weeks, Cleveland was putting up absurd numbers, holding opponents to 10.7 points and 164 yards per game. The Browns would finish the season with the fewest yards allowed (270.2 per game).

But Jackson was efficient and effective against Cleveland’s defense on this October afternoon, finishing 15-of-19 for 186 passing yards and four total touchdowns. With his team up 14-3 in the final minute of the first half, Jackson uncorked an absolute dime to Flowers, who kept his feet in bounds on a 43-yard hookup.

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Oh, and this throw came on a second-and-29 in Baltimore territory. Jackson showed excellent patience by keeping his eyes downfield for a huge gain that set up a touchdown three plays later.

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Week 7: 12-yard touchdown to Agholor

The Ravens’ 38-6 defenestration of the Lions in Week 7 might’ve been the most shocking outcome of the season. Detroit came into the game with a 5-1 record and a 3-0 mark on the road. Then, Baltimore locked the doors of M&T Bank Stadium and kept them shut.

The Ravens scored touchdowns on each of their first four offensive possessions, and Lamar’s magical pocket manipulation was on full display on the second score. Facing third-and-3 at Detroit’s 12-yard line, the quarterback eluded edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson in the backfield, then scrambled to his right, stopped and tossed a touchdown to Agholor.

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Jackson’s 357 passing yards that Sunday were a season high, and he needed only 27 pass attempts to compile them. Two weeks later, the Ravens blew out another NFC opponent, the Seahawks, 37-3.

Week 14: 21-yard touchdown to Flowers

2-point conversion to Flowers

I’m cheating here, combining two outstanding throws into one moment, but it all happened so quickly it’s difficult to separate them in my mind.

Things were looking dire for the Ravens with 1:23 left in their Week 14 matchup against the Rams. After Los Angeles scored a touchdown to go up 28-23, Baltimore had marched down a rain-soaked field and into the red zone. But a sack put the offense in a third-and-17 from the 21-yard line.

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That’s when Jackson took the snap, backpedaled 13 yards and fired a strike to the goal line for Flowers, who tumbled backward into the end zone.

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The score put the Ravens on top, but they needed a two-point conversion to make it a three-point lead. On a designed rollout to his right, Jackson pivoted to avoid linebacker Ernest Jones IV, then lobbed another pass to Flowers in the corner of the end zone while getting folded in half by defensive end Jonah Williams. Simply incredible.

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Though the Rams would tie the game on a field goal a minute later, the Ravens would walk it off on a Tylan Wallace punt return in overtime. The win pushed Baltimore a game ahead of Miami atop the AFC.

Week 15: 26-yard completion to Isaiah Likely

Lamar’s ability to dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge oncoming rushers has never ceased to frustrate opposing defenses. Never was that more evident this season than in the Ravens’ prime-time Week 15 game in Jacksonville.

With Baltimore clinging to a 10-7 lead in the final minute of the third quarter, Jackson dropped back on a second-and-6 from Jacksonville’s 30-yard line. He swerved under a would-be arm tackle by Dawuane Smoot, spun 360 degrees, staggered to his right and heaved a pass to the other side of the field. Twenty-six yards downfield, tight end Isaiah Likely leapt to make an, ahem, unlikely grab over a defender.

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No one was better at buying time than Jackson. Of the 48 quarterbacks who dropped back at least 100 times during the regular season, Jackson had the 10th-longest time to throw, according to Next Gen Stats. Plays like this one show just how irking he can be for pass rushers.

Week 16: 30-yard run

Speaking of long-developing plays, Jackson ate up a whopping 14 ticks of the clock near the end of the first half of the Ravens’ Christmas Day showdown against the 49ers. But it was worth every second.

Up 13-12, Baltimore had a third-and-16 from San Francisco’s 41-yard line with just 24 seconds before intermission, but still held a pair of timeouts. A 58-yard field goal attempt would have been less than ideal, so Jackson took off when he saw no one open, just trying to help his kicker. By the time he finished running, Justin Tucker was in line for a chip shot.

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It says a lot about Lamar’s development as a passer that the first five plays on this list were throws. But his 821 rushing yards this season — most of any quarterback — are a reminder of what makes him so dangerous.

Week 17: 33-yard completion to Odell Beckham Jr.

The connection between Jackson and Odell Beckham Jr. took longer to develop than his link with Flowers. The three-time Pro Bowler didn’t catch his first touchdown pass from Jackson until Week 10. But the pairing showed glimpses of their potential all season, including in Baltimore’s Week 17 game against Miami.

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Midway through the second quarter, the Ravens sent five receivers sprinting downfield on second-and-8, hoping to find a mismatch. Jackson found one, stepped to his right and launched an off-platform deep ball to Beckham, who caught a perfectly placed pass at the 1-yard line.

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Beckham finished the regular season with 565 receiving yards, but his 16.1 yards per reception were the highest mark of his career.

Week 17: 75-yard touchdown to Flowers

Jackson’s throw to Beckham wasn’t even his best play from the Ravens’ 56-19 win over the Dolphins.

On Baltimore’s very next possession, Lamar dropped back on first-and-10 from his own 25 and faked the handoff to Justice Hill, but then continued to drift backward on his offhand side. Surely he wasn’t preparing to throw a left-handed pass, but it was enough to fool Dolphins safety Jevon Holland.

Jackson then reset his feet and hurled a deep pass to a wide-open Flowers, who took it the distance for a 75-yard score. It was the first 100-yard game of Flowers’ career and could be a sign of the kind of creativity the Ravens will display in the playoffs.

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