Dual-Threat Josh Allen And Lamar Jackson Lead Quarterback Wave Of The Future

Remember not too long ago when the one guy had questionable accuracy and hadn’t really played against impressive competition while the other was deemed as much a wide receiver prospect as anything and there were skeptics everywhere saying his college game wouldn’t translate to the NFL?

Welcome to the time when Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson were more curiosity than potential NFL star quarterbacks.

Welcome to the time when doubt surrounded both their entrances into the league and the uncertainty of it all took a while to fade.

“There were a lot of different notions and opinions about both of us coming out of the draft,” Allen said this week in a rare moment of nostalgia. “Now, we’re just trying to find ways to help our team win football games. Guys respect [Lamar] and love how he plays the game of football.

“He has a lot of fun doing it, and I have a lot of fun doing it.”

They’re both doing it better than anyone as their teams face one another at 1 p.m., Sunday in Baltimore.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens scrambles against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on September 18, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Impressive Accomplishments To Start the Season

Jackson leads the league’s top scoring offense — Baltimore is averaging 33 points per game — and that isn’t a huge surprise because he leads the NFL with 12 combined passing and rushing touchdowns. Allen and that Buffalo Bills offense he’s carrying on his back rank third in scoring at 30.3 points per game.

And what makes the rankings impressive is not that these quarterbacks are having fine years passing the ball, but that both are unconventional in how they play the position.

“It’s crazy to think about,” Allen said.

This is crazy:

Jackson leads the NFL with 12 combined passing and rushing touchdowns while Allen ranks second with 10. Each player has recorded at least four combined passing and rushing touchdowns in two games this season and Sunday can join Russell Wilson as the only players in NFL history to accomplish the feat in three of their first four games of a season.

Jackson and Allen are redefining the quarterback position by making it truly a dual-threat run-and-pass position.

Jackson ranks fifth in the league in rushing yards with 243, making him the first player in NFL history with at least three touchdown passes and 100 rushing yards in consecutive games. On Sunday he can become the first quarterback to record at least 100 rushing yards in three consecutive games.

“Lamar is as dynamic as it gets,” Bills linebacker Von Miller said. “Early on in his career they tried to say he was just a runner. He done nothing but prove that he’s a total package. At any given moment, he could take it 80 yards.”

Or throw it 80 yards.

Well, maybe that’s embellishment. This season Jackson has thrown a 75-yard TD pass and run for a 79 yard touchdown so not quite 80 yards.

All this while Jackson leads the league with 10 TD passes. Allen is second with 9 TD passes. And his 32 rushing TDs since 2018 are most in the NFL in that span.

(Jackson is second with 23).

Comparing Incomparable Quarterbacks

So we’ve established both these guys can run as well as pass. And while we’re not going to get into comparing passing velocity or mechanics we are going to say something about running style.

Jackson is Barry Sanders.

Allen is Jim Brown.

“He’s looking to take someone’s head off when he runs,” Bills tight end Dawson Knox said of his quarterback’s running style. “He’s looking to run someone over, stiff arm someone. We’re always asking him to slide more just to protect himself, but he’s like the Hulk with the ball,”

Barry Sanders of the Detroit Lions 1996 season (Photo by Allen Kee/Getty Images)

Jackson isn’t that. He’s probably 20 pounds lighter than Allen but he’s quicker and better able to make space between himself and tacklers. The fact the Ravens are now putting Jackson under center more also is creating problems for defenses.

“I love it,” Jackson said. “I feel like it’s very effective, because defenses don’t know whether you’re running the ball or dropping back to pass with the play action – stuff like that – so I feel like it’s helping us out a lot.”

This matchup of the ultimate dual threat quarterbacks is the future. When someone invented the run-pass-option, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson had to be the template quarterbacks for the attack which is why both players appreciate one another.

“[There’s] very [much] mutual respect between one another,” Jackson said, “but he’s in Buffalo and I’m over here in Baltimore, so there can’t be any hanging out and stuff like that. But when we see each other, we show respect amongst each other.”

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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