Lamar Jackson’s 2018 preseason has been a bag of mixed nuts. What should we be looking for from the rookie Saturday night vs. the Dolphins?
Let’s face facts here: Everyone knows that week three of the preseason is known as “dress rehearsal week” because it’s the week you see the team’s most likely week one starters play for extended periods of time. The Ravens are absolutely rolling with Joe Flacco to (at least) start the season, so expect him to dominate the amount of time each quarterback sees the field. But when Lamar Jackson finally does get on the field Saturday night against the Miami Dolphins, what should we expect?
Through three weeks of preseason football, Lamar Jackson’s performance has been, shall we say, underwhelming. The 21-year old rookie is completing under 50.0% of his passes with a mediocre 4.7 yards per attempt (YPA). While Jackson has showed off the explosiveness we saw during his time as a Louisville Cardinal, we’ve also seen the growing pains we expected for his transition to the NFL.
There’s no reason to be concerned whatsoever. After all, we want to see him continue to make improvements week-by-week, which he has to a certain extent. But Jackson still looks rattled in the pocket, inaccurate with the football, and takes unnecessary risks as a runner. At the same time, Jackson looks explosive and has shown off his ability to be the play-maker we all dreamed he’d become.
So now with Saturday night’s game inching ever so closely, it’s time now for us to decide what to look for from the rookie, starting with…
Calm, cool, collective:
Nothing would instill more confidence among the fan-base regarding Lamar Jackson than seeing the rookie show poise in the pocket and comparability as a passer. This is easily the top of the list for us going into Saturday night’s game. The Ravens are hoping Jackson can continue working on his mechanics and show improvement as a passer entirely.
We aren’t looking for Jackson to become a terrific quarterback through just four preseason games. However, we will be hoping to see continual improvement week-to-week. Against a solid Miami Dolphins defense, Jackson has a terrific opportunity to progress as a passer. Getting his completion-percentage above 50.0 is a must, as is increasing his YPA and maybe throw another touchdown (or two?).