Lamar Jackson is leading the Ravens into a new era of Baltimore football

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Nine weeks down, eight weeks to go in pro football’s 100th season. One unbeaten team remains: San Francisco is 8-0. Two one-loss teams are left: 8-1 New England, 7-1 New Orleans. And seven other teams with six or seven wins. The league is careening toward a fascinating playoff season that could see Brady-Jackson or Brady-Mahomes, and, maybe Brady-Garoppolo or Brady-Brees or Brady-Rodgers even. But Sunday night showed that so many other matchups ultimately could make the postseason almost as fun as Brady going for his seventh (and maybe last) Super Bowl in New England. How about a final four of youth-shall-be-served Baltimore-Kansas City and San Francisco-Seattle, featuring Jackson, Mahomes, Garoppolo and Wilson. Also: Deshaun Watson would like a word. Don’t forget AFC South-leading Houston, still in the fight for a first-round bye.

Point is: Any of these matchups would be great. The forecast for January is sunny, with 100 percent chance of fun, with or without the almighty Patriots. And at this just-past-midseason point on the calendar, we’ll hit on some second-half themes later in the column. But let’s start here in Baltimore.

The Ravens, with consecutive wins over Seattle (by 14) and New England (by 17), have wedged their way into the discussion of teams that can play deep into January. You had to respect what Baltimore did in Seattle. But starting this game with drives of 72, 54 and 72 yards, and going up 17-0 on New England? I mean, no team had scored 17 on the Patriots this year. Baltimore did it in 16 minutes.

But all the way through the second quarter, and halfway into the third, you got the feeling that the Patriots coming back was inevitable. They’re not as new and shiny, but they’ve been here, overcome that. A muffed Baltimore punt turned into one touchdown, a lost Mark Ingram fumble turned into a field goal, an aborted Baltimore drive turned into another field goal, and it was 17-13 at halftime. If not for Marlon Humphrey running 70 yards with a Julian Edelman fumble on the first series of the third quarter, New England would have gone ahead then. But the euphoria from that TD was short-lived, because the Patriots rammed it down the Ravens’ throats with a 75-yard drive to make it Baltimore 24, New England 20 midway through the third.

Now for the third-and-five in the Sistine Chapel. New England didn’t live by the blitz in this game—by Pro Football Focus’ count, the Patriots blitzed eight time on 27 Jackson dropbacks—but they were coming here. “You could see they were going to play zero,” Andrews told me. That’s the defense playing man on each receiver, one on one, with no safety help for anyone. Jackson saw it too: “We’ve been seeing it all week, and coach [offensive coordinator Greg Roman] has been drilling it in my head.” The Patriots sent six, covering four receivers one on one, with a cornerback, Jonathan Jones, lurking around the middle-linebacker slot to spy Jackson in case he took off. From wide left, Andrews ran a corner route, and got a step on backup safety Terrence Brooks. Andrews, 6-5, has six inches on Brooks. “I just had to deliver the ball,” Jackson threw high, but Andrew went up and got it, maybe six inches out of Brooks reach.

Gain of 18. First down. Then it went Ravens touchdown, Brady interception, Ravens touchdown, ballgame.

“That play really kind of gave us a spark,” Andrews said in the back of the Ravens’ locker room. The adulation was elsewhere—with Jackson, Ingram, Earl Thomas, and other heroes of the night. Rightfully so. But this play, Jackson to Andrews, was the play of the night for Baltimore. It kept the chains moving toward an insurance touchdown, and New England was done.

“He [Andrews] should have the game ball for that,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I forgot.”

Andrews will have other chances. This is an equal-opportunity offense. Four rushers gained yards on the ground; 10 receivers were targeted. This offense is just so multi-dimensional, so different from the NFL standard, even in this day of filling the air with footballs. It’s fun. You sit there and think: What’s coming next?

“All starts with Lamar. Lamar runs the show,” said Earl Thomas. “you better be in great shape when you play us, because Lamar’s gonna wear you down, mentally and physically.”

“Lamar the dude,” Ingram said, with the kind of deep respect you hear only from an admiring locker-room peer.

A while after the game, I found Jackson in the back of the locker room. As those who know him tell it, he’s just a happy kid, respectful, with a strong work ethic, and he doesn’t get cowed by the spotlight. He respects Tom Brady, but said adamantly that he didn’t think, Man, I’m playing Brady tonight. We chatted a bit, and as I prepared to leave, I said to him, “You’re fun to watch.”

“Appreciate that, Mr. Peter,” Jackson said.


So where are the Ravens now? Built to last, I think.

A little history: The 2018 Ravens won six of their last seven to take the AFC North, then moved on from Super Bowl quarterback Joe Flacco and standout GM Ozzie Newsome. They let four integral defensive pieces from the league’s top-rated defense walk. They changed on the fly, and now stand 6-2 in the North with a two-game lead and eight to play. The Ravens are progressive in management and coaching. Harbaugh has embraced analytics—GM Eric DeCosta for years has studied how roster-building can benefit from advanced statistical study—and neither allows temporary failures to deter them from non-traditional thinking. Harbaugh was defiant about trying to score as much as he could in Kansas City in the 33-28 loss. Four times he went for it on fourth down, twice in Baltimore territory. Three times he went for two after touchdowns. Harbaugh might trust his defense, but no D is shutting down Mahomes. Thus the advanced risk-taking.

No team has used Compensatory Picks, and the draft, better than Baltimore recently. In the last 10 drafts, Baltimore has a league-high 83 picks in rounds one through six. (For this exercise, I’ve excluded seventh-round picks, which are nearly equal to college free-agents. Minnesota, for instance, has had 24 seventh-round picks in the last 10 drafts, and only one has been a regular contributor.) Baltimore’s been consistently cool about letting big-money free-agents leave when it’s their time and using Compensatory Picks for replenishment. In the last 10 drafts, seven Ravens Compensatory Picks in rounds four, five and six have become regular starters, including guard Bradley Bozeman, tight end Nick Boyle and pass-rusher Pernell McPhee (before being hurt in October) on the current team.

The collection of picks has allowed Baltimore to spend a fifth-round pick for 10 games of Marcus Peters and consider it a bargain; Peters will be a free-agent after the season, and has fortified a need position at corner; in his first game with Baltimore, Peters had a pick-six off Russell Wilson. So the addition of Jackson, and DeCosta’s emphasis on the team being built to last, should make Baltimore a contender for a while. As for this season, the Ravens have played both New England and Kansas City well recently. No one in the locker room was ready to anoint Baltimore as the team to beat, and lots can happen in two months. But this is a strong offensive team that should be able to make up for some defensive blips.

As for New England, I wouldn’t worry too much about a 17-point loss to an ascending team in early November. This will allow Bill Belichick to acerbically re-focus his team, as he does every year. History should be your judge if you’re either a Patriots fan and totally bummed out this morning, or a Patriots hater, dancing on their grave. And history says in each of their six Super Bowl years, they had bad days. Look at their pratfalls in the six Super seasons:

2001: Lost to Miami 30-10 in Week 4.
2003: Lost to Buffalo 31-0 in Week 1.
2004: Lost to Pittsburgh 34-20 in Week 7.
2014: Lost to Kansas City 41-14 in Week 4 (followed by the famous, “We’re on to Cincinnati” presser).
2016: Lost to Buffalo 16-0 in Week 4.
2018: Lost to Tennessee 34-10 in Week 10.

The last thing Jackson said to a small circle of us stuck with me. It’s almost Belichickian, and it’s going to hold Jackson in good form for a while if he remembers it.

“I don’t really care about the person I’m playing against,” he said. “I don’t care if it’s a primetime game, or playing at 1 o’clock. I’m just trying to win, at the end of the day.”

Then he congratulated a few mates. He put on a pink knit cap and went out into the night, king of the city.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here

Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes: All-time QB matchups, records, stats

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Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes have gone head-to-head six times and each matchup has been both high-stakes and high-scoring affairs between the two legendary quarterbacks who have an even 3-3 overall record against each other. See below for a breakdown of the Brady vs. Mahomes rivalry.

Mahomes is currently in his fifth season as the Chiefs starting quarterback. The 2019 Super Bowl MVP signed a 10-year, $450 million extension in July 2020, which was the richest contract in American sports history by total value. Over the last four seasons (2018-2021), Mahomes has led the league in both passing yards (18,707) and touchdown passes (151). The 27-year-old looks to lead the Chiefs to their seventh straight AFC West Title. Kansas City is the only team to ever win six consecutive AFC West titles, which is tied for the 3rd-longest division title streak of any team in NFL history.

At 45 years old Tom Brady, who already holds 7 Super Bowl titles–the most in NFL history, is currently playing in his 23rd NFL season–one that many thought he wouldn’t see after an unpredictable offseason filled with rumorsretirement, and unretirement. But the greatest of all time is back–this time without the comfort of his longtime trusted TE Rob Gronkowski–and is not only facing the challenge of playing with a banged-up offensive line but is also adjusting to the turnover at the WR and TE positions from this offseason.

RELATED: NFL QBs with most Super Bowl wins – Where does Tom Brady rank ahead of Super Bowl 2023

Every past matchup between Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes (3-3 overall record):

  1. Oct. 14, 2018 (Week 6) – Patriots defeated the Chiefs 43-40. Brady threw for 340 yards and 1 TD. Mahomes threw for 352 yards, 4 TD, and 2 INT.
  2. Jan. 20, 2019 (AFC Championship Game) – Patriots defeated the Chiefs 37-31, in overtime. Brady threw 348 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INT. Mahomes finished with 295 YDS, and 3 TD
  3. Dec. 8, 2019 (Week 14) – Chiefs defeated the Patriots 23-16. Mahomes totaled 283 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Brady had 169 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT.
  4. Nov. 29, 2020 (Week 12) – Chiefs beat the Buccaneers 27-24. Mahomes threw for 462 yards with 3 TD. Brady finished with 345 yards, 3 TD, and 2 INT.
  5. Feb. 7, 2021 (Super Bowl 55) – Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs 31-9 playing on their home field at Raymond James Stadium. Brady threw for 201 yards and 3 TD and was named Super Bowl MVP for a record 5th time.
  6. Oct. 2, 2022 (Week 4) – Chiefs defeated the Buccaneers 41-31 at Raymond James Stadium. Mahomes went 23-of-37 for 249 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.

RELATED: NFL QBs with most Super Bowl wins – Where does Tom Brady rank ahead of Super Bowl 2023

In an interview with NBC’s Maria Taylor for Football Night in America, Mahomes discusses the trademarks of a Brady-led team.

“First off, they take advantage of mistakes,” Mahomes said. “If you make a mistake on the field, if I throw an interception or if you fumble, or if something like that happens, he’s going to make you pay and get points on the board and then he’s going to manage the game.”

Mahomes also knows that while Brady has a knack for capitalizing on mistakes, he does not often make many of his own.

“He’s going to make some plays when he needs to make plays, but at the same time he’s not going to make that big mistake. So you have to go out there and play a near perfect football game to win. Another thing, he’s never out of it and I think that’s something I try to pride myself on as well is never being out of the game. So whenever you play against a Tom Brady-led team, you make sure you keep that foot down on the pedal and try to do whatever you can to finish the game off.”

Patrick Mahomes absorbs Tom Brady’s lessons

Despite the difference in age and experience, Brady and Mahomes are alike in their impact on the game.

“You want to not like Tom but he’s just like the best guy,” Mahomes said. “So it’s hard to not like him, but to be able to play in golf tournaments, and him give me kind of advice and stuff like that. I mean, he’s the GOAT. You want to learn from the best and it’s really cool to have that relationship with him.”

Even when Brady and Mahomes have faced off in high-stakes postseason games, the advice continues. The two met in the 2019 AFC Championship game, when Brady was still playing for the New England Patriots. Both quarterbacks delivered stellar performances, but Brady managed to lead the Patriots to an overtime victory.

Following this loss, Mahomes tells Taylor that he is upset and spends a lot of time after the game sitting in the locker room. But when Mahomes finally walks out, Brady is waiting for him.

“He could be celebrating” Mahomes said. “He’s going to the Super Bowl and everything like that, and all he said to me, ‘Hey, just keep doing it how you’re doing it. You’re doing it the right way.’ And as a young quarterback, you just go out there and play and try to have fun and do whatever you can to put your team in the best position to win.

But when the GOAT’s saying that, he’s saying you’re doing it the right way, it shows you that you are doing it the right way. And so that was big for me”

While Brady has not revealed all his football wisdom to Mahomes, the Chiefs’ signal-caller looks forward to learning more.

“He won’t give me all the secrets yet,” Mahomes said. “But hopefully one day I’ll get the secrets and can put those into my game.”

Patrick Mahomes embraces the Tom Brady mindset

While Brady and Mahomes are competitors, their respect from one another extends beyond the football field into their personal lives. Mahomes and his wife Brittany, have a young girl, Sterling, and are expecting a baby boy.

“You want to be able to be a family man and be with your family and you want to be able to do these different things, where you’re going into businesses and then helping out and shooting commercials and, at the same time, keeping football first.”

One of the biggest lessons Mahomes has taken from Brady is the importance of prioritizing football in addition to consistently improving at the game.

“That’s the greatness in Tom Brady is no matter how much off the field stuff he does, football is always the main priority and he makes sure to keep it that way,” Mahomes said. “And so you watch that and then at the same time you go back to him on the field and he’s always getting better. I feel like every single year he finds something he can get better at. And that’s what I want to do, is I want to keep getting better as my career goes on so that I can play hopefully, maybe not as long as him, but pretty long as well.”

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

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How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


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What are the longest field goals in NFL history and when were they kicked?

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The 2022 NFL season is upon us, and at a time when every point matters, field goals take on an added significance. Last season, Baltimore Ravens’ kicker Justin Tucker converted the longest field goal in NFL history at 66 yards. Trailing 17-16 to the Detroit Lions in Week 3, Tucker successfully kicked a field goal that bounced off the cross bar and through the uprights to give the Ravens the victory as time expired.

Tucker’s kick broke the previous record that was set back in 2013. Cardinals kicker Matt Prater was the previous record holder with a kick of 64 yards against the Tennessee Titans. Prater, who played for the Denver Broncos at the time, converted the kick at the end of the first half to pull the Broncos within one point heading into the locker room.

RELATED: How to watch Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens: TV, live stream info, preview for Sunday Night Football game

The next field goal record is 63 yards and it has been achieved six different times in NFL history, most recently by Brett Maher in 2019 when the Cowboys were hosting the Philadelphia Eagles. In his three NFL seasons, Maher has kicked one 63-yard field goal and two 62-yarders. The first kick in NFL history of 63 yards happened in 1970 when Tom Dempsey of New Orleans sent a 63-yard kick through the uprights.

There are another five kickers throughout NFL history who have converted a kick of 62 yards. Earlier this season, Prater kicked a 62-yard kick against the Minnesota Vikings that had room to spare. The field goal was kicked from the center of the Cardinals’ mid-field logo and put Arizona up, 24-23, at halftime. With two of the kicking records in NFL history, Prater has established himself as a kicking legend in the NFL.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

What are the longest field goals in regular season history?

66 yards – Justin Tucker, Detroit vs. Baltimore, Sept. 26, 2021

64 yards – Matt Prater, Denver vs. Tennessee, Dec. 8, 2013

63 yards – Tom Dempsey, New Orleans vs. Detroit, Nov. 8, 1970

Jason Elam, Denver vs. Jacksonville, Oct. 25, 1998
Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland vs. Denver, Sept. 12, 2011
David Akers, San Francisco vs. Green Bay, Sept. 9, 2012
Graham Gano, Carolina vs. N.Y. Giants, Oct. 7, 2018
Brett Maher, Dallas vs. Philadelphia, Oct. 20, 2019

62 yards – Matt Prater, Arizona vs. Minnesota, Sept. 19, 2021

Matt Bryant, Tampa Bay vs. Philadelphia, Oct. 22, 2006
Stephen Gostkowski, New England vs. Oakland, Nov. 19, 2017
Brett Maher, Dallas vs. Philadelphia, Dec. 9, 2018 (OT)
Brett Maher, Dallas vs. N.Y. Jets, Oct. 13, 2019

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

The longest field goals in playoff history do not quite match those of the regular season, but they are not far off. The longest kick in the postseason is 58 yards and two kickers have achieved the feat: Pete Stoyanovich of the Chiefs in the team’s 1990 Wild Card game against the Dolphins and Graham Gano of the Panthers before halftime of the team’s Wild Card game vs. the Saints.

What are the longest field goals in playoff history?

58 yardsPete Stoyanovich, AFC-FR: Miami vs. Kansas City, 1990
Graham Gano, NFC-FR: Carolina vs. New Orleans, 2017

57 yards –  Mike Nugent, AFC-FR: Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis, 2014
Wil Lutz, NFC-FR: New Orleans vs. Carolina, 2017
Greg Zuerlein, NFC: L.A. Rams vs. New Orleans, 2018

56 yards – Mason Crosby, NFC-D: Green Bay vs. Dallas, 2016


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube