Lamar Jackson first Raven with multiple 4-TD games

BALTIMORE -- In exchanging jerseys with Deshaun Watson after Sunday's 41-7 victory, Lamar Jackson received a compliment that proved just as special.

Watson wrote on the jersey: "Always love, keep grinding and MVP."

In outplaying Watson, Jackson delivered another performance that staked his claim to being the league's top player while etching his name in the Baltimore Ravens' record book once again.

In a rout of the Houston Texans, Jackson became the first player in Ravens history to produce multiple games with four touchdown passes. On his scores, Jackson connected with Seth Roberts (15 yards), Mark Andrews (18 yards) and Mark Ingram (25 and 12 yards).

Jackson threw five touchdown passes in the season opener at Miami.

Asked about setting the Ravens record, Jackson said: "That's a good stat. I like that stat. I'd rather throw [touchdowns] than run them. Like I said before, since I'm a running 'back, they're gonna still say whatever they're gonna say."

Baltimore (8-2) extended its winning streak to six games, the longest current one in the NFL. It pulled within a half-game of New England for the top seed in the AFC, pending the Patriots' game against the Eagles.

Jackson now has as many as or more games of four touchdowns and no interceptions this season (two) than the following Hall of Fame quarterbacks had in their careers: Joe Montana (two), Bart Starr (one), Troy Aikman (one), Jim Kelly (one) and Ken Stabler (one), according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Those players also have 10 Super Bowl rings among them.

Jackson was asked whether he feels as if he has to defend himself less as a passer.

"I never tried to defend myself before," Jackson said. "I really don't care what they say. My guys know, week in [and] week out, we're practicing [and] we see it. I don't really care what the doubters say."

Overcoming a shaky first quarter (1-for-6 for 12 yards), Jackson completed 16 of his final 18 passes for 210 yards and four touchdowns. He got in a groove, completing 13 straight passes. That's the fourth-longest streak in franchise history.

"I just think he's definitely improving," coach John Harbaugh said. "Yes, sure, from one season to the next, but from game to game, even from practice to practice. He's so locked in."

Jackson also hurt the Texans with his legs, rushing for 86 yards. His best run was a 39-yarder in which he made five Texans defenders miss.

Jackson, who was 17-of-24 for 222 yards (139.2 rating), outplayed Watson after doing the same against Russell Wilson, another MVP candidate, on Oct. 20.

Entering Sunday, Jackson was tied with Wilson for the best odds to win NFL MVP, according to Caesars Sportsbook. Watson was in a three-way tie for third with Christian McCaffrey and Aaron Rodgers.

In introducing Jackson to the postgame media session, Ingram said: "Now I would just like to introduce y'all to the man, the myth, the legend, the MVP front-runner ... if anybody else got something different to say about that, then come see me. I'm right here in B-more."