Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens remained on a major roll and all but knocked the defending NFC champs out of playoff contention before Thanksgiving.

Jackson, the Ravens’ breathtaking second-year quarterback, continued to stake his claim to the league MVP award by throwing five touchdown passes. He and the Ravens put on a dazzling show as going Hollywood obviously agreed with them. They overwhelmed the Rams, 45-6, on Monday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

“There’s a reason why people are talking about him as an MVP,” Rams Coach Sean McVay said after the game. “It felt like it tonight.”

The Ravens raced to a 28-6 halftime lead, made it 35-6 early in the third quarter and just kept pouring it on. They extended their winning streak to seven games and improved to 9-2.

They remained on the heels of the New England Patriots, who are 10-1 but lost to the Ravens earlier this month, in the race for the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. They’ll have a short work week before hosting the San Francisco 49ers, the current NFC front-runners at 10-1, in a possible Super Bowl preview Sunday in Baltimore.

“We’re hungry,” Jackson told ESPN on the field afterward. “We’re humble about it. But we’re hungry right now. We’re chasing something. We’ve got the 49ers coming up next week.”

Jackson had 95 of the Ravens’ 285 rushing yards Monday. He completed 15 of 20 passes for 169 yards. Jackson threw a pair of first-quarter touchdown passes to rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown, appropriately nicknamed “Hollywood.” He found wideout Willie Snead for a touchdown just before halftime, added a third-quarter strike to tailback Mark Ingram and found Snead again the opening minute of the fourth quarter.

The Ravens scored touchdowns on each of their first six possessions of the game before Jackson gave way to backup Robert Griffin III with more than 12 minutes remaining. Ingram had a 111-yard rushing night.

“I just come out and play,” Jackson said. “I do what I’m supposed to do. I do my job. Everybody does their job. We’re chasing something.”

Asked what that is, Jackson said succinctly: “Super Bowl.”

The MVP competition has been winnowed to Jackson and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, in the minds of some. Jackson bolstered his case in prime time before a “Monday Night Football” TV audience. He became the first quarterback to have five touchdown passes in his Monday night debut. Jackson joined Cam Newton as the only players ever to throw five touchdown passes and have at least 90 rushing yards in a game, according to Elias. Newton did so during his MVP season for the Carolina Panthers in 2015.

“It was impressive,” McVay said at his postgame news conference. “When you sit there and you watch and you feel the operation up close and personal and you just see just how sharp they are with their execution, what a dynamic playmaker he is, what a good job they do of creating conflict right before the snap, changing your fits—and then on third down, they were really impressive. Just his operation, his ability to be able to find some completions, make plays with his legs.”

Ravens Coach John Harbaugh pointed to Jackson’s situational precision, as with the touchdown drive he orchestrated just before halftime.

“That’s just operating at the highest level you can operate at as a quarterback,” Harbaugh said. “So that’s the thing I’m probably most amazed at, if it’s anything, is how he operates as a quarterback.”

The Rams became the latest team to have no answers for Jackson and the Ravens. Their defensive stars, defensive tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey, were nonfactors. Donald was credited with only one tackle. On offense, the Rams managed only a pair of field goals. Tailback Todd Gurley ran for 22 yards. Quarterback Jared Goff had 212 passing yards and threw two interceptions, one of them to former teammate Marcus Peters.

According to reports, Peters and Ramsey had a heated postgame exchange. Peters, traded by the Rams to the Ravens, was overheard by reporters yelling about kicking his former team’s “[butt] out of the playoffs.”

Last season’s Super Bowl appearance indeed is a fading memory for McVay and his players. They’re 3-5 since a 3-0 start to the season and trail the 49ers and Seahawks in the NFC West. They dropped two games out of the second wild-card spot in the rugged NFC with five games remaining.

Hope is fading, and the operation is looking more ragged all the time. McVay squandered a first-half timeout Monday when he didn’t like the play into which Goff was getting the Rams at the line of scrimmage. The Rams handed the Ravens their sixth touchdown by being penalized for having too many players on the field with Baltimore in punt formation. The Ravens first sent kicker Justin Tucker on the field, then sent Jackson and the offense back on the field as Harbaugh took a ruthless approach. The Ravens converted on fourth and four. Harbaugh also left the offense on the field for another successful fourth-down try after Griffin took over and led a field goal drive.

“Give them credit,” McVay said. “They did a good job. But we’re not gonna let this bleed into next week. This is humbling. Nobody’s gonna shy away from [the fact that] we’ve got to do a lot better collectively as a team. You give the Ravens their credit. But what you can’t do is you can’t allow the Ravens to beat us twice as we move forward into our preparation in the upcoming week.”

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