After three games this season, Jackson offered another revelation.
“I hate running,” Jackson said. “Only if I have to, but my job is to get the ball to the receivers, the tight ends, running backs. If I have to run, I’ll do it, but I’d rather just sit back and pass it. I like throwing touchdowns instead of running them.”
In three games, Jackson is averaging 33 passes and just nine rushes per game — which is down from his 17 carries per game as a starter last season.
Jackson still has confidence in his rushing ability. In Sunday’s loss at Kansas City, he scored a touchdown by faking out one defender and spinning past another to reach the end zone.
“I only could run it. There was no one open,” Jackson said. “I had to make him miss. I’m one-on-one. I like my chances over anyone one-on-one.”
Jackson is on pace to gain 917 yards rushing, which would rank as the fourth-most by a quarterback. When Jackson takes off, he often creates highlights with his ability to sidestep, fake out and hurdle defenders.
“He’s wild, man. He’s amazing,” running back Mark Ingram said. “I don’t think there is anything like him in the league, as far as just extending plays and being able to juke defenders. He’s special. He can extend plays and buy time for us to get open, receivers to get open, or him take off and run at the last resort and juke people, spin around people, make people fall.”
Jackson has made dramatic improvements as a passer this season. In the season opener, he became the youngest player ever to record a perfect passer rating. Jackson then set a team record for most touchdown passes in the first two weeks of a season (seven).
Entering Week 4, Jackson has the NFL’s fifth-best passer rating (113.9).