London loves it some Lamar Jackson.
The Baltimore Ravens departed at the top of the week for their Sunday showdown in England and their quarterback is drinking in the adoration he had no idea was coming.
Having already arrived ahead of the Ravens’ Week 6 showdown with the Tennessee Titans, Jackson was taken aback by the realization that he has an international fanbase.
“I didn’t know until people recognized me,” Jackson said, via the team website. “I was like, ‘That’s crazy, I’m known in London?’ A few guys walked up to me, they were like, ‘Are your Lamar?’ in the London accent. I took a picture with those guys. It was fun.”
Jackson has done more than his share of crazy things on the gridiron, having emerged as one of the most dynamic quarterbacks to ever take to NFL soil. Now he’s set to play for the first time in England and he’s clearly excited about it.
The 26-year-old former Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player was born in Florida, played his college ball in Kentucky and has played all his NFL home games in Maryland. On Sunday, he’ll officially become a global player, as the Ravens face off with the Tennessee Titans at 6:30 a.m. ET in a game emanating from London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on NFL Network.
“It’s my first time in London, probably like my third time outside the country,” Jackson said. “It’s exciting. I’m loving London.”
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Baltimore will play just its second International Series game and its first since a 44-7 London loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017. Jackson was a junior at Louisville back then and will now become just the fourth former MVP QB to start a game in London (Tom Brady twice, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan).
Last week in London, the Jaguars upset a Buffalo Bills team that looked slow to get going on Sunday.
Perhaps looking to combat any travel fatigue, head coach John Harbaugh and the Ravens left early this week and are getting adjusted. In contrast, the Bills didn’t arrive until Friday morning – roughly 48 hours before game time.
Jackson, for one, is getting acclimated in a hurry.
“I believe us being out here early, it will help us out a lot, instead of a quick turnaround,” Jackson said. “Probably in another day or so I’ll be perfect.”
On the heels of a disastrous loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens (3-2) are looking to rebound against the Titans (2-3), but prior to kickoff, it’s clear that Lamar loves London and it’s loving him right back.
“It means a lot, just for NFL football to be going global,” Jackson said. “It’s amazing, and for me to have fans in London? I never dreamed about that.”
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