BALTIMORE — Lamar Jackson shined in the national spotlight.
The Ravens quarterback broke the single-season quarterback rushing record and threw five touchdown passes, leading Baltimore past the New York Jets 42-21 in a Week 15 Thursday night matchup.
The Ravens extended their winning streak to 10 games and clinched the AFC North title for a second consecutive season. Baltimore can also secure the top seed throughout the AFC playoffs with a win at Cleveland in Week 16.
However, the team still has loftier goals, namely winning the franchise's third Super Bowl.
"The Ravens are AFC champs and we're very proud of that," coach John Harbaugh said. "That's a great accomplishment. It's a great division, and it's our first goal. It's not our top goal, but it's our first goal. So, we're proud of that. That's done. We'll move on and we'll get back to work. We have to get better."
Jackson needed just 23 yards to surpass the previous quarterback rushing record set by Michael Vick, who ran for 1,039 yards in 2006. Jackson had a 20-yard run on the Ravens second play from scrimmage, a two-yard run and then he overtook Vick with a 5-yard run on first-and-goal from the 11.
Jackson finished the night with 86 yards on eight carries, giving him 1,103 yards on the season.
"It's pretty cool," Jackson said. "[Vick] was my favorite player growing up. It's amazing and I'm going to cherish that forever. I just have to keep it going."
Jackson completed 15 of 23 pass attempts for 212 yards and a 134.4 passer rating.
On the season, Jackson has thrown for 2,889 yards with an NFL-leading 33 touchdown passes, which also is tied for the franchise season record set by Vinny Testaverde in 1996.
Those gaudy numbers have made Jackson the favorite for league MVP.
"I'm enjoying it," Jackson said. "I'm here to game. I have a great group of guys and coaching staff with me. And I couldn't wish to be anyplace else."
Jackson is the fourth quarterback in NFL history with 30 touchdown passes and seven running scores in a single season. The other players to accomplish that feat are Steve Young (1994), Daunte Culpepper (2000) and Cam Newton (2015).
Jackson wasn't the only Ravens player to reach a milestone.
- Mark Andrews broke the Ravens single-season touchdown record for tight ends with eight.
- Marquise Brown caught his seventh touchdown pass of the season, which ties a Ravens rookie single-season record with Marlon Brown (2013) and Torrey Smith (2011).
Baltimore scored on its first three drives and never trailed. Jackson then threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Brown that increased the margin to 28-7 midway through the third quarter and the Ravens cruised to the victory.
The Ravens racked 218 yards on the ground — running back Mark Ingram caught a touchdown pass and ran for another score.
"We knew we had to play a tough offense tonight and that we had to commit to the run." Jets coach Adam Gase said. "We struggled early and that is really a tough offense to play."
The Ravens do have areas for improvement, especially on special teams. Sam Koch had a punt blocked that turned into a touchdown and coverage was spotty.
"We have to get better," Harbaugh said. "We played really well on special teams last week. We played not well at all this week. So, that's an area of concern right now."
Despite some flaws, the Ravens have proven they are currently the best team in the NFL with victories over other playoff-caliber squads, such as the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers.
"It's hard to win a game in this league," Harbaugh said. "Everybody you play puts everything into it. It's a real blessing to be able to stand on the sideline all these years and see these guys play and see how hard they play, how fast they are, how big they are, how well-trained they are."