Two former NFL MVPs will take the field together when the Baltimore Ravens face the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night.
Lamar Jackson said Wednesday he respects the path Cam Newton helped pave for mobile QBs like himself.
The 23-year-old Ravens signal-caller said he looked up to Newton for his ability to run, take hits and pass. Jackson was a freshman at Louisville the year Cam Newton was eating up the league in 2015 on his way to an MVP award and Super Bowl.
"I watched Cam since Auburn. Everyone in the country did," Jackson said, via Boston.com. "Everyone knew about Cam -- Superman -- doing his thing. A lot of us looked up to him."
Newton set the bar. Jackson is running past it.
Jackson's 2,370 rush yards are the most by a QB in his first three seasons in NFL history (a record previously held by Newton at 2,032).
Jackson is the only QB in NFL history with a 100-plus passer rating and 1,500-plus rushing yards over his first three seasons. He is also the only QB in NFL history with a 100-plus passer rating and 50-plus rush YPG in his career.
In 2015, Newton became the only player in NFL history with 30-plus pass TD and 10-plus rushing TDs in a single season.
"He's a mobile quarterback. He does his thing," Jackson said of Newton. "He won the Heisman, won the college championship, won MVP, went to the Super Bowl. I followed him a lot, wanted to get to where he's at. Now I'm here, now I've got to play against him. I just can't wait to do that."
Both Jackson and Newton have experienced ups and downs this season and are looking to get back to their MVP ways. Jackson is averaging 41.1 fewer rush and pass yards than a season ago. Newton's production has nosedived after injuries cost him several years, and the transition to New England hasn't been without hiccups.
Sunday, two of the most prolific running quarterbacks in NFL history will take the field with mutual respect.
"Game recognize game," Jackson said. "He's the O.G. -- Superman."