It took less than three minutes for the Baltimore Ravens to put to bed questions about whether they'd look past the winless Cincinnati Bengals on the road. Lamar Jackson then spent the rest of the afternoon prepping his MVP resume.
The Ravens quarterback put on a show with his arm and legs in the 49-13 pummeling. Jackson put up a perfect 158.3 passer rating with three TD tosses on just 15-of-17 passing with 223 yards, and added a team-high 65 yards rushing, including a 47-yard jaw-dropping TD scamper.
"Listen, the most valuable player on a team, I don't know how you can say there's one more (valuable) than Lamar," running back Mark Ingram said after the road win, via The Athletic.
Jackson is piling up the accolades week by week.
Jackson joined Aaron Rodgers (2019) and Hall of Famer Joe Montana (1989) as the only players in the Super Bowl era with 15-plus completions, 3-plus passing TDs, 1-plus rush TD and a perfect passer rating in a single game.
After doubling down on his Week 1 perfect passer rating, Jackson joined Ben Roethlisberger (2007) as the only players to record two games with a perfect passer rating in the same season since 1950 (minimum 10 attempts).
Sunday marked Jackson's fourth game with 200-plus pass yards and 60-plus rush yards this year; only Cam Newton (2012; five games) has reached those figures more in a single season. Lamar has seven more games to blast past Newton's number.
"They have probably the MVP quarterback," Bengals safety Shawn Williams said. "He got my vote. Definitely. He's definitely the best I've faced this year."
Sunday, the Bengals had no answer for Lamar, who got the entire fourth quarter off to chill on the bench after building a big lead.
"He's one of the most exciting players I've ever seen," Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor said. "I'm interested to see what teams do down the road here to stop him because he certainly is hitting on all cylinders right now."
The Ravens sit at 7-2, in position for a playoff bye, mostly due to the field-tilting presence Jackson provides. Weekly he makes some of the best athletes on the planet look like stiff Ken dolls.
Sunday's 47-yard whirling dervish TD run gave the Jackson MVP campaign its signature moment thus far.
"Lamar's a special player, man," Ingram said. "When guys force him to throw, he's going to throw and hurt you. He's going to do whatever it takes to win a game, whatever it takes for a play to be successful. He's maturing so much. He's continuing to get better. All the great things he's been doing, he's going to continue to improve."
As MVP candidates come and go throughout the season, Jackson's dual-threat ability destroying defenses and lifting the Ravens to the top of the AFC has staying power.