The Ravens and Browns will square off in a matchup that could well be the most important game of the NFL season. Lamar Jackson is projected to be one of two players who may play for both teams this year, which presents plenty of incentive for him to perform against his former team. The stakes are high in Baltimore and Cleveland as they vie with each other not only for playoff spots but also their reputations
The “lamar jackson or baker mayfield week 2” is a football game that will take place on November 10th. The Ravens and the Browns are rivals, with both teams being AFC North teams. Lamar Jackson can force the Ravens to hand him a blank check for Christmas by exposing Baker Mayfield and the Browns as frauds in upcoming series between AFC North rivals.
For Lamar Jackson, Christmas may come early.
While the holiday is just a few weeks away, the Baltimore Ravens player has a chance to celebrate a bit early if he stays on track in the coming weeks. With two games against a struggling, banged-up Baker Mayfield on the horizon, the 2018 NFL MVP can help his club win the AFC North while also increasing his chances of obtaining a blank check from the front office.
After all, if Jackson exposes the Cleveland Browns as phonies in their next series, the Ravens should not hesitate to sign their most valuable player to a substantial contract deal. Unlike Mayfield, Baltimore’s star quarterback is deserving of a free-agent contract from a head office with a proven track record of selecting and developing indigenous talent.
Cleveland has gone from a Super Bowl favorite to a team that can’t seem to put together a winning streak.
Remember when the Browns seemed to be on the verge of breaking through and realizing their full potential?
Unfortunately for Cleveland fans, the 2021 season has seen more of the same inconsistency from a club that can’t manage to remain on track for lengthy periods of time. Kevin Stefanski’s team is in last place in the congested AFC North after an 11-5 season that includes an outstanding 48-37 Wild Card triumph against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Injuries, of course, have played a big part in the Browns’ disappointing 6-5 record. The saga surrounding Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t help matters, however. Even so, Baker Mayfield and his teammates have fallen short of expectations. Cleveland currently has the 19th-ranked scoring offensive (22.2 points per game) and the 17th-ranked scoring defense (22.8 points per game), thus it doesn’t seem to be a strong Super Bowl candidate.
After all, the Browns haven’t won back-to-back games since beating the Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, and Minnesota Vikings in Weeks 2-4.
Meanwhile, they’ve been watching the Ravens move back to the top of the division rankings despite their own injury woes. With a 7-3 record, John Harbaugh’s squad seems to be on track to make the playoffs for the fourth year in a row.
And, depending on how the next several weeks go, Lamar Jackson may find himself with no alternative but to offer general manager Eric DeCosta a blank check for Christmas.
If Lamar Jackson beats Baker Mayfield in the Browns’ future games, he should ask for a blank check for Christmas.
Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson have yet to sign contract extensions with their respective teams. Getty Images/Nick Cammett/Diamond Images
The Browns have the tough task of defeating the Ravens twice in three weeks, according to NFL schedule designers. They must play in Baltimore on Sunday, and they will host the current AFC North leaders after a Week 13 bye in what should be a tough game between two division rivals.
That is why this stretch is so crucial for Jackson and his bank account.
The Browns have resorted to being the same up-and-down squad that has teased fans for years, despite the fact that they created plenty of Super Bowl excitement throughout the offseason. If they hope to even reach the playoffs, much alone go all the way, they can’t afford to lose any more games. Cleveland could easily fall out of contention for the division championship if Jackson uses his legs and strong right arm to tear up a defense that gave 452 total yards to the New England Patriots in Week 10.
Baltimore’s explosive quarterback has two chances to prove that he deserves to be paid. He will not only face Mayfield in front of a noisy Ravens crowd, but he will also have the opportunity to quiet Browns supporters on the road. If he can do it again, he’ll have shown himself to be the better player and deserving of a contract extension that would place him among the highest-paid players in the league.
The next series is extra intriguing since the Browns selected Mayfield first overall while Jackson was drafted 32nd. While neither team’s starting quarterbacks have signed long-term contracts, it’s clear the Ravens got a steal when they selected the dual-threat signal-caller with the penultimate choice in the first round of the 2018 draft. Why shouldn’t Jackson tell the front management precisely what he wants written on that check if his unusual mix of athleticism and arm skill helps Baltimore capture two much-needed victories against an overhyped Cleveland team?
There isn’t another player in the NFL who compares to him. Jackson is unquestionably an exceptional talent who demands respect as a leader, despite the fact that he still has potential to develop. What more is there for him to show if he passes this two-game test and demonstrates how much ahead of Mayfield he is?
To win the AFC North, the Ravens will need Jackson to produce at an MVP level down the stretch.
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Ravens have the 9th-toughest remaining schedule.
Baltimore faces five games against AFC North clubs in the last seven weeks, as well as hosting the Packers and Rams.
Steelers (3rd), Raiders (4th), and Patriots (4th) are the AFC clubs with the toughest remaining schedules (5th).
November 24, 2021 — Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley)
While Jackson should be motivated to play well down the stretch, it remains to be seen if he can maintain his status as an MVP contender. After all, Baltimore’s schedule doesn’t seem to be very straightforward.
After their two-game series with the Browns, the Ravens will play a number of teams with Super Bowl aspirations.
Aside from facing the Steelers twice, Jackson and company must also face the Green Bay Packers (Week 15), Cincinnati Bengals (Week 16), and Los Angeles Rams (Week 17). (Week 17). All three teams have elite quarterbacks and playmakers capable of causing havoc. Furthermore, the Packers are sixth in points allowed per game with 19.5, while the Bengals are ninth with 21.6.
If the Ravens want to keep control of the AFC North, they’ll need the 2018 version of Jackson to show up every week. And they’ll need some heroic performances from a defense that has been plagued by injuries for the most of the season.
In the NFL, things can change rapidly, so if things don’t go well in the next weeks, Baltimore might find itself towards the bottom of the division rankings. However, with Lamar Jackson’s financial future in jeopardy, betting against him or his club looks risky.
And it’ll be fascinating to watch how much the Browns value Baker Mayfield’s talents going forward if he continues to be exposed.
Pro Football Reference provided all statistics.
RELATED: The 6 Players Selected Before Buffalo Bills Quarterback Josh Allen in the 2018 NFL Draft
Note from the editor: This is a guest article by Matt Frazier.
Running hasn’t been fashionable in recent decades.
Running–not for another activity or because you’re being pursued, but just for the pleasure of running–conjures up thoughts of high school gym class for most males. Maybe a short-shorted tiny dude.
But that’s all about to change. Runners like ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes are changing the face of distance running and reinventing what a distance runner’s physique looks like. Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash races are becoming more popular as alternatives to the traditional road 5K or half marathon.
Even the shoes we wear on our feet are changing: the barefoot running movement and minimalist barefoot-style shoes like Vibram Fivefingers (regardless of how they look) are bringing hordes of new people to the sport who would have ripped their toenails out rather than go for a run just a few years ago.
If you’re new to the sport, or even if you’ve ran a few times but never actually trained for anything, here’s what you need to know to have fun while avoiding injury.
Why Do So Many People Hate Running? And What Can Be Done About It
I have a hunch on why so many individuals tell themselves (and others) that they don’t like running enough to run a marathon. Or, to put it another way, they despise it.
Remember how we all had to run a mile in gym class? They’d have us run one day instead of playing dodgeball or floor hockey or anything else fun. Not simply for enjoyment, but as quickly as possible. Our timings were kept track of, and whether you were the class’s 10-minute miler or merely the slowest among your classmates, you were teased.
We learnt to run in this manner. For a mile, push yourself as hard as you can. You’ll be in pain, cough a lot, and maybe taste blood at the back of your throat. But it’ll only take a few minutes, and we won’t have to do it again until next year.
Is it any surprise that so many of us equate running with pain?
So here’s a secret about distance running that even those who claim to despise it aren’t aware of: running a marathon isn’t 26.2-times tougher than jogging a mile in gym class.
Why? No one could possible maintain their gym-class mile intensity for another 25 miles. To run a marathon, or even a half marathon, you must modify everything about yourself, from your thinking to your form. Here are some tips on how to run (and think) like a marathon runner.
Slow down your pace.
Who established the rule that every run must be completed as quickly as possible?
Consider this: if the furthest distance you’ve ever ran is a 5K, how much farther could you go if you dropped your speed significantly–say, from 7:30 to 9 minutes per mile?
Try it the next time you go for a run. Change things up if you usually finish your strength training routine with an eight-minute mile on the treadmill. Go outdoors and run that mile in ten minutes instead of eight, and try to enjoy it.
Slow miles aren’t only an activity to help you stop hating running; they have a purpose in serious training plans as well. If you’re training for your first marathon or half marathon, for example, the majority of your long runs should be completed at a pace one to two minutes per mile slower than you’re capable of running the distance on that particular day. When you’re attempting to run 10 or 15 miles for the first time, any faster is simply asking for an injury.
So the first step is to take it slowly. But what about the appearance?
As it turns out, there’s a simple method that can make everything come together.
With One Simple Trick, You Can Make Your Stride Injury-Proof
Taking more steps is the key to dramatically reducing the stress that jogging puts on your body. This isn’t simply a type of training wheels, like running slower; it’s a habit followed by the world’s finest marathoners and ultrarunners.
When it comes to cadence–the pace at which top runners take strides–nearly all of them take at least 180 steps per minute. When you compare it to the typical weekend warrior’s stride rate, you’ll see that the elites take roughly 30 more steps per minute than the average weekend warrior.
Why are you taking longer strides each minute? Because short, fast steps, rather than lengthy, sluggish ones, allow your feet to spend less time in touch with the ground and produce fewer impacts with each contact.
Even better, immediately rotating your feet over necessitates keeping your feet under your torso and landing on your midfoot. In contrast, most runners at the local 5K fall down on their heels with their leg out in front of them with each stride. This little adjustment will go a long way toward minimizing the ailments that many individuals associate with long distance running.
(As an added bonus, without a wide cushioned sole to support your foot, taking big steps and landing on your heel is really rather unpleasant.) So, by encouraging you to take smaller, lighter steps and land on your midfoot, running without shoes “automatically” improves your form. If you don’t want to walk barefoot, don’t worry: you can obtain many of the same advantages by just raising your stride pace while wearing shoes.)
So, how can you truly train your body to move faster? It’s simplest to imagine 180 steps each minute as three steps per second and then lock in with that beat while staring at a ticking clock. On a treadmill, of course, this is much safer and simpler. If you’re on the road, don’t do this with your watch.
Another option is to run to a metronome or, better yet, select a song with a pace that allows you to time your steps to reach three per second.
I guarantee it will seem like the most uncomfortable thing in the world at first. You’ll feel like a cartoon figure, spinning your wheels but not moving very far.
But be patient. It will take some getting accustomed to since you’ll be using muscles that you haven’t utilized in any previous running. However, after a few runs like this, you’ll begin to feel more at ease, and you’ll be considerably less likely to get an injury than previously.
Alternate hard and easy workouts.
You may become a marathoner by doing nothing but leisurely runs. In fact, many individuals do just that when they first begin training for a marathon or half marathon. Your body learns to run more effectively and your endurance increases with each step you take, even if it’s at a sluggish speed.
However, if you’re in it for more than simply the joy of running a long distance, but also to improve fitness or the excitement of training to break a certain time, you’ll need to complete some tougher exercises so that your body can adapt and get stronger. (Besides, jogging at a single pace might be tedious.)
So, when you’re ready to start shaking things up, think about speedwork and threshold training.
Speed exercises are exactly as they sound. The idea is to run at a far quicker speed than you think you’ll be able to continue for any considerable distance, but with rest periods in between. Speedwork is usually done on a track since the surface is regular and level, and you can easily evaluate your speed by looking at your watch and the track lines that indicate how far you’ve gone.
Once you’ve gotten used to jogging a few kilometers, try this short speed workout: Run half a mile (800 meters) at a decent speed, around the same as you’d be able to sustain for a mile. Time how long it takes you to complete it, then go for a short jog or simply a stroll for the same length of time. Rep four times more, or for as long as you feel entirely recovered during the rest break. These intervals are known as Yasso 800s, after the coach who created the program, Bart Yasso.
Speedwork is difficult, and you’ll probably only want to practice it once a week at first. The following exercise is a little less hard but lasts a little longer.
Training at the apex
The intensity at which your body shifts from a comfortable aerobic state (where your easy runs should be) to the more difficult, oxygen-consuming condition you’d rely upon in a fight-or-flight scenario is known as your anaerobic threshold. Threshold training helps your body to enhance the speed and intensity with which it transitions–in other words, it educates you to remain in “comfortable” mode for longer periods of time.
Threshold training is sometimes defined as “comfortably difficult”: it should be at a level of difficulty that you can sustain for at least 45 minutes. If you’ve just completed a 5K, consider running at a slightly slower per-mile pace for your threshold training. You should be able to communicate in small phrases, but it should be difficult to pull a whole paragraph out of you. (If you can run a 5K in 25 minutes, set your threshold pace at roughly 8:30 per mile.)
Start with a twenty-minute run at that speed and work your way up to faster and longer runs as your fitness improves. To keep things interesting, add some hills or run on a path, but you’ll need to slow down your target speed to account for the harder terrain.
The Long Term
The long run is the bread and butter of a distance runner’s routine. It’s the week’s longest session, and if you’re training for your first half or full marathon, this is when you’ll go further than you’ve ever ran before.
The lengthy run isn’t difficult–basically, you go at a “easy” speed, which is slow enough that you can comfortably carry on a conversation while running. The lengthy run will need you to stop for water and sustenance (or carry it along with you), as explained below.
The monotony, in my experience, is the most difficult aspect of the long run. If you grow bored, bring along an iPod with a music or maybe an audiobook to keep yourself entertained. If you prefer the great outdoors, trail running provides a getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life as well as an opportunity to meditate, reflect, or just relax as you run.
How to Stay Fueled While Running
Sabotageing your workouts by forgetting to feed correctly is a typical error young runners make, and I was no exception when I was training for my first marathon. Many beginner runners make the mistake of not realizing that the food they consume before and during their runs has a significant influence on how they feel and perform. Here’s how to do it correctly.
Before you begin your exercise,
Prior to all but the shortest and simplest runs, have a substantial quantity of carbs and, if feasible, a little amount of protein. A 3:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio is a decent goal to aim towards, but don’t stress about being exact. Fat and fiber should be avoided since they raise the risk of stomach troubles, which are no one’s buddy when you’re five miles into a trail run.
The more time you have before your exercise, the more you should eat in this pre-run meal. If you have two hours or more before your run, a bagel with peanut butter and a piece of fruit would be a good choice. If you just have an hour to exercise, opt for a smaller drink: I enjoy a tiny glass of orange juice with a pinch of protein powder mixed in. If you need to be out the door right after you eat, try a handful of dates. The glucose will swiftly enter your circulation, and you will be able to utilise it within 15 minutes.
While you’re exercising,
You will, without a doubt, need water. Three to four glasses of water every hour is a good starting point, but the quantity you require can vary greatly depending on the intensity, heat, and humidity.
If you’re doing a run that’s shorter than an hour, you generally won’t need to eat anything during the exercise if you’ve had something beforehand. Most individuals have enough glycogen stored in their bodies to run for approximately an hour and a half before their bodies shut down to preserve their brains, so eating for more than an hour is a safe bet.
Depending on your size and the intensity of your run, aim for 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour of exercise if you’ll be out for more than an hour (or if you’ll be running particularly hard for a shorter length of time). Also, remember to replenish electrolytes, which you lose while you sweat and are required to keep the water you’re drinking balanced. A sports drink or energy gel is a fantastic way to receive both calories and electrolytes from a handy source, but if you’ve had your fill of sports drinks and gels on long runs, most substantial meals like fruits and energy bars become more enticing.
Following your exercise,
For your body to adapt and develop strength and speed, how you eat after your run, particularly during the critical few minutes immediately followingward known as the recovery window, is just as essential as the quality of your exercise.
Eat a good-sized supper of carbohydrates and protein in a 4:1 or 5:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio during the first half hour or so after you complete your exercise. You’ve probably heard the expression “earned your carbs,” and it’s true here: the hour following a workout is the one time of day when all those carbohydrates you shouldn’t eat–white rice, white pasta, and even sugar–are really helpful. So take advantage of this time and consider it a prize for your hard work.
Putting Everything Together
You wouldn’t go to the gym every day and do the bench press, would you? You understand the importance of muscle recovery, so you allow each muscle group to rest after a strenuous exercise.
Running is the same way. If you want your body to improve, you must allow it time to recuperate. Treat your hard runs (speedwork, threshold, or long run) as workouts while you’re just starting out, and make sure to rest in between each one. Take a day off, go for a short cross-training session, or go for a fairly easy run at a conversational speed.
This is ok on a week-to-week basis. If you’re training for a long race, though, you’ll need a map that shows you how to increase your mileage over time as you get closer to the goal distance, as well as a nutrition plan to ensure you’re eating enough calories to keep your body running.
So devise a strategy for getting where you want to go. Free training regimens are plentiful on the internet, but you’re better off looking around for a book or plan that’s perfect for you. Training for a long marathon is a significant commitment, and it is well worth it.
Check out these resources for getting started (or becoming serious) with distance running to go deeper with the ideas in this article and for some training regimens I like:
- Daniels Running Formula – a great introduction to scientific training, including training plans for a variety of distances and abilities.
- Run Less, Run Faster — a new strategy to increasing your speed and reducing the amount of time you spend running by substituting cross-training for easy, “junk” miles.
Remember Lao-insightful tzu’s words: “A thousand-mile journey begins with a single step.” Don’t be disappointed if you can only run for three or four minutes at the moment without stopping. In such scenario, set a time limit of five minutes. Work your way up to number ten after you’ve reached it.
Running more distances in a day than most people drive isn’t the product of extreme exercises or an abnormal hunger for pain (ok, maybe that one helps on race day). Instead, it’s the consequence of a series of little, consistent actions. You can’t help but get stronger, quicker, and more durable if you go out every day and push yourself a little bit.
Have fun jogging!
Listen to our podcast about distance running myths and truths:
Listen to our podcast about distance running myths and truths:
Matt Frazier is a marathon and ultramarathon runner who, if he weren’t such a bad swimmer, would be a triathlon. Matt’s site, No Meat Athlete, provides a free e-course on plant-based nutrition for endurance athletes, which he uses to assist runners and other athletes train and eat healthier.
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