OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Lamar Jackson could pass his childhood idol Sunday.
Jackson is on pace to break Michael Vick’s single-season rushing record for quarterbacks Sunday, when the Baltimore Ravens (10-2) play at the Buffalo Bills (9-3).
“It’d be an honor,” Jackson said Wednesday. “Mike Vick’s my favorite player. For me to do such a thing is incredible. He had that record for a long time. It would be pretty cool, but I’m focused on the win regardless.”
In his first full season as an NFL starting quarterback, Jackson needs 63 yards rushing to surpass Vick, who ran for 1,039 yards in 2006. With his blazing speed and elusive moves, he is averaging 81.4 yards rushing through 12 games.
“I’ll be honest: I didn’t think it would ever be broken,” Vick told Fox Sports two weeks ago. “I didn’t think a guy would come along and play between the tight hashes and do the things that I’ve done, but it’s just a pleasure for me to watch and see another guy just emulating that style — and doing it better.”
In Sunday’s 20-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers, Jackson moved into second place on that list with 102 yards rushing. That marked his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the year, which is the most by a quarterback in a single season.
Jackson is one of the leading candidates for NFL Most Valuable Player because of his passing as well as his running. He is second in the NFL with 25 touchdown passes and fourth with a 109.6 passer rating.
He is on a hot streak as a runner, gaining at least 60 yards on the ground in nine straight games — the longest span by a quarterback in NFL single-season history.
“Guys make a tackle on the open field single-handedly, I’ve seen guys celebrate forever,” offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. said. ” Lamar is a generational talent running the ball.”
Jackson’s 977 yards rushing this season rank as the ninth-most in the NFL and tops Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell and Alvin Kamara. He leads the league with nine runs of 20 yards or more.
His running has played a major factor in the Ravens’ success. Baltimore is 12-0 when Jackson rushes for at least 70 yards in a game.
The Ravens are currently the No. 1 seed in the AFC and can clinch their second straight playoff berth under Jackson by beating the Bills on Sunday.
Coach John Harbaugh hasn’t mentioned playoff scenarios to his players.
“I did mention to the team, ‘Where are we? We’re nowhere until we get there. And then, when we get there, we’ll be there. We’ll take it from there,'” Harbaugh said.
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