An MVP candidate, Mahomes leads the league in passing yards and can dive-bomb defenses from every angle through the air. Jackson has the Ravens streaking at 4-1 over their last five with a devastating ground game that tortures defense. Since Jackson entered the lineup, the Ravens offense ranks first in rushing yards per game (230.4), first in run percentage (64.5), first in rushing first downs (66) and is tied for first in rushes of 10-plus yards (28).
"So throughout the week we'll have drills that focus on keeping the quarterback in the pocket and not letting him get out. But he's a great athlete. He's gonna get out. We just have to make sure that when he does, we get him on the ground quick."
From a purely quarterbacking level, putting Jackson on Mahomes' level seems absurd. Mahomes has diced up defenses by making a cornucopia of absurd throws and sits as the MVP front-runner heading into the final two weeks.
But when taken from Phillips' perspective, the comparison holds more water. As a defense, corralling Jackson isn't about just hitting the quarterback, it's about containing the QB run while also defending a bus-like ball carrier in Gus Edwards. The Ravens have a one-two combo punch that no other NFL offense is running. Their uniqueness makes them fun and dangerous.
"I haven't seen a quarterback run like this since Tim Tebow in Denver in 2011 when he took them to the playoffs," Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. "And I think they're running it even more."
It's an oversimplification to assume defenses can simply stack the box to contain the Ravens run game.
According to Next Gen Stats, since Week 11, Baltimore has rushed into a stacked box on 20.1 percent of its carries (16th-highest rate over that span) and rushed into a light box (<7 defenders in box) on 38.5 percent of carries, the 17th-highest rate over that span.
Holding Jackson and the rest of the Ravens run-game below 150 total rushing yards would be a win at this point.