Baltimore Ravens rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson will get his third consecutive start under center on Sunday in a road matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network (h/t Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk).
Jackson has been filling in for veteran signal-caller Joe Flacco, who has missed the previous two games with a hip injury. Per Smith, Flacco still has not been cleared for action.
The former Louisville star and 2016 Heisman Trophy winner has led Baltimore to a 24-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals and a 34-17 win against the Oakland Raiders. Jackson has rushed for 190 yards and a touchdown in those games and completed 61.4 percent of his passes for 328 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
The Ravens' offense has been transformed overnight. Baltimore is an anomaly compared to the rest of the league now as the team has gone run-heavy in a pass-happy league. Of note, Baltimore has rushed on 96 occasions compared to just 44 throws in Weeks 11 and 12. Rookie Gus Edwards has also played a large part in that with 40 carries for 233 yards and a touchdown.
The Atlanta matchup presents a fascinating challenge, however. On one hand, the Falcons allow the third-most rushing yards per carry in the league. The Ravens could certainly find success against a susceptible Falcons front and control this game for all four quarters with a strong rushing attack.
On the other hand, the Falcons are sixth in passing yards per attempt and 11th in points per game. If they jump out to a multiple-score lead at home and dominate via the pass, the Ravens may be forced to go to the air to keep pace, which hasn't been as much of a strong suit in recent weeks. Still, the Ravens defense has allowed the fewest points per game in the league and can give Atlanta's offense trouble.
The 6-5 Ravens currently hold the AFC's final playoff spot by virtue of the conference-record tiebreaker over the 6-5 Indianapolis Colts, but four 5-6 teams and a 4-6-1 Cleveland Browns are looking to jump Baltimore as well. The Ravens must hope that Jackson's hot hand continues in Atlanta to help ward off their conference foes.