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Lamar Jackson vs Patrick Mahomes: Comparing the 2 star quarterbacks heading into AFC Championship Game

Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in their careers, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes are set to take on one another in the playoffs.

Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens will host the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game this coming Sunday with a ticket to the Super Bowl on the line.

Two former NFL MVPs going at it. Two of the best players in the game. It’s going to be a major storyline heading into Baltimore for the big game.

Here, we check in on who has the advantage between Jackson and Mahomes. Whoever plays at a high level will more than likely lead his team to the Super Bowl against either the Detroit Lions or San Francisco 49ers.

Related: NFL Playoff and Super Bowl predictions

Patrick Mahomes’ down regular season, Lamar Jackson’s brilliance

kansas city chiefs qb patrick mahomes
Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

A two-time NFL MVP, Mahomes found himself frustated through the second half of the regular season. Dropped passes from wide receivers coupled with some major overall struggles on the offensive side of the ball played a role in this.

Mahomes put up his fewest touchdown passes (27) and most interceptions (14) in a season this past regular year. That came after he led the league in passing yards (5,250) and passing touchdowns (41) in 2022.

For his part, Jackson put up a career-best performance through the air as his Ravens posted a 13-4 regular-season record.

PlayerComp %Passing yardsTotal TDINTQB ratingYPAYPC
Lamar Jackson.6723,678297102.78.012.0
Patrick Mahomes.6724,183271492.67.010.4

Kansas City’s final nine regular-season games saw Mahomes throw just 12 touchdowns compared to eight interceptions. He did turn it around in the Chiefs’ first two playoff games, tallying three touchdowns against zero interceptions.

As for Jackson, he was absolutely brilliant during Baltimore’s six-game winning streak before resting their starters in Week 18. That six-game span saw him tally 14 touchdowns against just two interceptions. It led o big-time wins against playoff teams in that of the Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins.

Related: Top early storylines for Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens AFC Championship Game

Lamar Jackson with advantage on the ground

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens
Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson went for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 11 rush attempts against the Houston Texans in the divisional round. This represented his second 100-yard rushing game of the season, posteason included.

All said, Jackson tallied 821 rushing yards and five scores on the ground during the regular season. His ability to do his thing on the ground is what makes the likely NFL MVP so darn special.

While Mahomes can be a threat on the ground and is pretty darn mobile, it’s not a huge part of his game. The two-time NFL MVP tallied 389 rushing yards without a single score on the ground during the regular season. If the Chiefs are going to come out on top, it will be all about what Mahomes is able to do through the air.

Related: NFL QB rankings heading into Championship Sunday

Patrick Mahomes with more success in NFL Playoffs

NFL: Super Bowl LVII-Winning Team Head Coach and MVP Press Conference
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday’s outing against the Buffalo Bills represented Mahomes’ first ever road start in the NFL Playoffs. It really is something else. As for his entire body of work in the postseason, Mahomes now boasts a 13-3 record with 38 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. He just continues to come up big when it counts the most.

As for Jackson, the narrative surrounding him was a tad different heading into Saturday’s playoff game. Jackson’s Ravens had posted a mere 1-3 playoff record with Jackson starting prior to Saturday’s win. Even after the victory, he’s accounted for just five touchdown passes with five interceptions in five career playoff starts. Mahomes has the obvious advantage here.

Related: Sportsnaut experts pick NFL Championship Sunday

Final verdict: Lamar Jackson with slight advantage

What we’ve seen from Jackson this season lends credence to the idea that he has the advantage heading into the AFC Championship Game.

But we have to take into account Mahome’ playoff experience and performances throughout the year. He’ll be more than up to the task against Baltimore inide M&T Bank Stadium come Sunday afternoon. That’s for sure.

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