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Lamar Jackson Bests Justin Herbert in Battle of Top, Young Quarterbacks

Ravens have dominant victory.

BALTIMORE — The first battle between a pair of the NFL's most dynamic, young quarterbacks — the Ravens Lamar Jackson and the Chargers' Justin Herbert — turned out to be a lopsided affair.

Jackson was the dominant player and led the Ravens to a 34-6. victory. He had modest numbers, going 19 of 27 for 167 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He also ran for 51 yards on eight carries. 

But his steadying presence was a major difference in the game. He simply took what the Chargers' defense gave him. 

With the win, Jackson surpassed former Dolphin Dan Marino for the most wins by a quarterback before their 25th birthday in NFL history (35).

“It’s pretty cool," is all Jackson had to say about the record,

Los Angeles took away the deep ball so Jackson relied on intermediate passes and a dominant running game (38 carries, 187 yards) to move the ball downfield.  

Jackson was under pressure most of the game and absorbed all three sacks in the first half. He took a questionable late hit out of bounds midway through the second quarter, but he didn't earn a penalty. 

Jackson had a costly interception in the middle of the field that led to the Chargers' first touchdown. However, Jackson made up for the gaffe with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Mark Andrews on the opening drive of the second half. The second interception was a deflection off the hands of rookie wide receiver Rashod Bateman, and it did not cost the Ravens because the defense did not bend.

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“There were a couple of plays I wish I could have back," Jackson said. "But yes, I would say this is a game where we did some great things out there. But I wouldn’t say this is the game … If anything, last week was the game we were taking what the defense gave us. But, I wouldn’t say this was the game.”

Herbert, meanwhile, struggled against the Ravens zone and they managed to keep him under pressure in key parts of the game. Los Angeles failed to convert a paint of fourth-down opportunities, which led to six points for Baltimore. 

Herbert was 22 of 39 for 195 yards with a touchdown and interception. He was also sacked twice. 

The Chargers running backs did not give him much support and they managed just 26 yards on 12 carries. 

"It was a lot of looks that we didn’t see on film and stuff they constructed for us," Herbert said. "They did a great job at disguising their looks; bringing pressure from one way and hiding from another. It was looks they hadn’t shown all season and stuff that you know we have to be better at to adjust to during the game. But, you know, they played a great game.”

Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen has created matchup problems all season but he did not get targeted from 4:32 in the first quarter until 14:13 in the fourth quarter.  

“Our defense just played lights out in every way," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. 

The Ravens improved to 5-1, have taken control of the AFC North and have staked a claim as the best team in the conference. Baltimore has its first divisional game against the Bengals next week at M&T Bank Stadium.