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Lamar Jackson sets irrational passing goal for 2023 with eye on specific NFL record

Most would say Baltimore Ravens superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson is one of, if not the best dual-threat options in the NFL, not only today but all time. Having won an NFL MVP award in just his second season as a pro, the sky may be the limit for the 26-year-old sensation.

Yet, while Jackson deserves consideration in the conversation for the best QB in the NFL, most would agree, it’s not because of his passing prowess. Jackson’s best trait is being able to keep defenders guessing, whether he’ll line a bullet pass past their earholes or juke them out of their cleats on the way to a 79-yard score.

There’s no questioning his overall talent level. Jackson is a two-time Pro Bowl QB who’s even been selected as a first-team All-Pro. But he’s also dealt with some durability concerns as of late, missing 12 games over the past four seasons. Not only that, Jackson has never passed for more than 3,127 yards in a single NFL season.

But don’t let those numbers get in the way of what the Ravens QB is trying to manifest for the 2023 season. Jackson, who officially signed his massive five-year, $260 million contract on Thursday, has very lofty goals for the upcoming year.

Related: NFL offense rankings: Reviews and outlook following 2023 NFL Draft

Lamar Jackson wants to throw for 6,000 passing yards in 2023

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking on Thursday, Jackson mentioned how he wants to throw for “like 6,000 yards” this season. The NFL’s all-time record was set by Peyton Manning in 2013 when the then-Broncos QB threw for 5,477 passing yards in just 16 games.

The Ravens’ receiving corps appears much improved, with 3x Pro Bowler Odell Beckham Jr. and first-round speedster Zay Flowers joining Mark Andrews and Rashod Bateman. Not to mention, offensive coordinator Todd Monken enjoys an offense that airs it out, with his Buccaneers’ units finishing third and fourth in attempts from 2017-18. But we can’t forget about who Jackson is, and what he’s best suited for.

We know Manning’s record will be broken someday, especially now that the NFL has extended the regular season from 16 to 17 games. But will Jackson be the one to do it? Our brain says no.

It’s not because we doubt Jackson’s ability as a passer. We don’t buy into that talk. Instead, it’s because we know Jackson will always have over 100 carries each year, which only takes away from his opportunities to pass. Not that him taking off with the ball is a bad thing. It may be the best decision for the Ravens, but obviously the more he passes, the less he runs, which in effect reduces his passing numbers.

So while Manning’s record was meant to be broken, we don’t anticipate Jackson being the one to do it. One record Jackson could maybe pivot to is targeting Patrick Mahomes’ single-season record of most total combined yards by a QB. He set this record in 2022, accounting for 5,614 yards combined as a passer, rusher, and receiver.

The most combined yards Jackson has had in a season is 4,333, also set during his MVP campaign in 2019. But if he can get through all 17 games, maybe Jackson could shatter his previous mark and even chase a few others as well. Still, 6,000 passing yards? Leave that one up to the Mahomes’, Burrows, and Allens of the world.

Related: NFL QB Rankings: See where Ravens QB Lamar Jackson lands

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