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Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (25-5) ties Dan Marino for best start by quarterback

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Lamar Jackson secured a place in NFL history for victories with a win unlike any other in his NFL career.

Overcoming a halftime deficit for the first time, Jackson produced a perfect second half in leading the Baltimore Ravens to a 24-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday and matching the best 30-start mark of the Super Bowl era.

The reigning NFL MVP is 25-5 (.833) since taking over as the Ravens’ starter in the middle of the 2018 season, tying Miami Dolphins legend Dan Marino for the best start by a quarterback since 1966.

“It’s pretty cool, I’m up there with a Hall of Famer,” Jackson said. “But you still got to win each and every game. So, it’s all right.”

All of Jackson’s five losses have come when trailing at halftime, and Baltimore had lost its past 20 games when behind after the first half, which had been the longest current streak in the NFL. This time, the Ravens rallied by going more up-tempo on offense and with Jackson throwing accurate darts all over the field.

Trailing 10-7 at halftime Sunday, Jackson was flawless throwing the ball in the second half, when he completed all 10 of his passes for 119 yards. He also ran for a 9-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Jackson and Marino produced their record starts after being passed over in the draft. Marino was the sixth quarterback selected in 1983, and Jackson was the fifth quarterback taken in 2018.

The only other quarterbacks to win more than 23 times in their first 30 starts are: Roger Staubach and Kurt Warner, who both started 24-6.

“I think that’s really something. Wow,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson tying Marino’s mark. “Lamar will tell you it’s a team effort, I think the team will tell you that you couldn’t win those games without Lamar.”

Jackson showed how valuable he is to Baltimore by lifting the team after a week of adversity. The Ravens (6-2) were coming off an emotional loss to the rival Steelers, put two starting offensive linemen on injured reserve (left tackle Ronnie Stanley and right guard Tyre Phillips), practiced without seven defensive players and played without their best defensive player in All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey.

After being shut out in the first time as a starter in the regular season, Jackson set up the Ravens’ first touchdown drive of the game by completing three passes for 36 yards. In the fourth quarter, Jackson sealed Baltimore’s 10th straight road win by going untouched on a 9-yard touchdown run.

“We just trust him,” said Ravens safety Chuck Clark, who scored a 65-yard fumble return in the first half. “A lot is put on his shoulders to make plays, and [there’s] outside criticism. But, like I said, we trust him, and we stick with him regardless of what happens. Our defense does their part; offense does their part, and we click and just go to get the ‘W’ at the end of the day.”

Jackson faced plenty of criticism this week for not being able to win big games. Earlier this season, he threw a career-worst 97 yards in a loss to the Chiefs and committed a career-high four turnovers in falling to the Steelers.

In rebounding Sunday, Jackson totaled 170 yards passing and 58 yards rushing against the Colts (5-3) to beat his first team with a winning record this season.

“Lamar is our guy. We’re with him all the way — 100 percent,” Harbaugh said. “We got his back. We believe in him. We love him. He’s that kind of a person. He gives you everything he’s got every single week. You’re going to have critics in this league. You’re going to have critics in life. That’s part of it. He understands that.”


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