Patrick Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson: Who has the edge?

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As the Kansas City Chiefs gear up to face the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game, football enthusiasts are in for a treat with a rare spectacle – a battle between the past two NFL MVP winners. Patrick Mahomes, a two-time AP NFL MVP awardee, leads the Chiefs for their sixth consecutive appearance in the championship game, while Lamar Jackson, the 2019 MVP, aims to secure a second MVP title and guide the Ravens to their first-ever franchise AFC Championship win.

Encounters between past MVP winners on conference championship weekend are a rarity, making this showdown between Mahomes and Jackson a historical moment. Mahomes, with two MVP awards under his belt, is eyeing his third Super Bowl victory, while Jackson is positioned as the favorite to claim his second MVP title after a stellar regular season and a convincing divisional round win against Houston.

In the 2023 regular season, Jackson exhibited his prowess with 3,678 passing yards, 24 TDs, and seven interceptions, in addition to an impressive 821 rushing yards and five TDs. The Ravens finished with a stellar 13-4 record, clinching the top seed in the AFC playoffs. On the other hand, Mahomes had a slightly off standard regular season, amassing 4,183 passing yards – his lowest since 2019 – and 14 interceptions. Despite this, Mahomes threw 27 TDs while leading a young group of receivers.

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When it comes to the playoffs, Mahomes has reignited his prowess, going 40-of-64 for 477 yards, three TDs, and zero interceptions. The Chiefs secured victories against formidable opponents in Miami and Buffalo. Mahomes boasts a commendable record in AFC championship games, with a 3-2 record and impressive stats of 1,515 passing yards, 14 TDs, and two interceptions.

Jackson’s postseason journey has seen him address prior criticisms, responding with a stellar performance in the divisional round against Houston, where he accumulated 152 passing yards, 100 rushing yards, and four total TDs in a resounding 34-10 victory. This marks Jackson’s inaugural AFC championship start.

If Jackson secures the anticipated MVP award this year, he would join an elite group of players who have won the award more than once, including legends like Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady. The clash between MVP-winning quarterbacks in championship games has historical precedence, with matchups involving iconic figures such as Manning and Brady.

Mahomes and Jackson have crossed paths in four head-to-head matchups, with the Chiefs emerging victorious in three of those encounters. Both quarterbacks have demonstrated their unique strengths, with Jackson showcasing an average of 187.5 passing yards and 75.8 rushing yards per game in these meetings, while Mahomes boasts an average of 369.8 passing yards and 35 rushing yards.