“Not bad for a running back,” Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson joked after the Ravens obliterated the Miami Dolphins 59-10.
Jackson, who finished the game with five touchdowns and 324 yards, tied the Ravens record for most touchdowns in a game and led an offense that broke league-wide records yesterday afternoon. For a quarterback that was chided for errant throws and relying more on his speed than his arm all last season, this was a definite “I told you so moment.”
From the first play until the final whistle, the Dolphins seemed clearly mismatched against Baltimore’s hybrid offense. Jackson blew the Dolphins’ defense apart to the point that they didn’t even have an answer for RGIII. Jackson threw with a passion unseen by Ravens QBs over the years (Flacco included at times). Plus, Jackson-to-Brown has a nice ring to it, if we’re being 100% real with ourselves today.
Lamar Jackson, throughout the offseason, dealt with a lot of “oh, he’s nothing more than a runner. He can’t throw for crap” rumblings from talking heads everywhere. However, with one game (albeit with a bit of a trash can team), Jackson emphatically put that talk to rest. In fact he ran the ball a handful of times.
Jackson looked very composed in the backfield, not forcing his throws (aside from that one off-balance throw that, somehow, still amounted to another touchdown) and doing what a leader should. This team is clearly his now and everyone responded well to that. Were the Dolphins an easy team? Eh, somewhat. But “easy” or not, Lamar Jackson showed that he can definitely hang with the big dogs.
This coming Sunday, he’ll face off against the Arizona Cardinals and this year’s Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray. Murray almost pulled off an incredible comeback victory against the Lions yesterday. It’ll be interesting to see how Jackson and Murray respond to each other and their team’s respective defenses. However, the fact that Murray had to attempt over 50 passes in his debut is indicative of two things.
- They will ride his arm until it falls off.
- If the Cardinals get far enough behind, they’ll (obviously) switch to more of a pass-heavy offense–which sounds delicious for a Ravens secondary who recorded two interceptions and six pass deflections.
Football is back, guys. Drink it in, man.