Baltimore Ravens Report Card: Grading Lamar Jackson’s first start
Baltimore Ravens quarterback, Lamar Jackson, totaled 267 yards from scrimmage in his first career start. More importantly he got the much needed victory:
Lamar Jackson was impressive in his first start for the Baltimore Ravens. The rookie quarterback led the Ravens to a 24-21 victory, which was their first win since beating the Tennessee Titans about a month ago. Jackson stepped in for the injured Joe Flacco and it seemed like a completely different team.
Jackson made his biggest impact as a running threat. Even when he didn’t carry the football, the threat of him doing so changed the game. Gus Edwards racked up 115 yards on the ground. This shows that Edwards may be the answer at running back, but it also shows that the run game is completely different with Jackson under center. Jackson had 27 carries for 117 yards.
While it wasn’t what you typically see from an NFL quarterback, Jackson made some big plays with his throwing arm. Jackson was a surprisingly efficient 13-19 passing for 150 yards. Other than a picked pass and a couple of ugly sidearm misses, Jackson passed the football well. He had some clutch passes that kept things going for the offense. Jackson was the biggest reason the Ravens won. While the passing game is still a work in progress, think about what Jackson accomplished. He led an offense that dominated time of possession 38:09 to 21:51.
The Bottom Line:
The Ravens didn’t walk into this game with a fanbase filled with confidence. They entered Sunday’s contest with hesitation. The purple and black had just lost three straight games, including a heart breaker against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jackson came into this game not because Flacco was benched, but because Flacco was unable to go. Nobody knew what to expect from Jackson.
Jackson exceeded any reasonable expectation. The offense controlled the football and it was very much because of Jackson. Jackson didn’t have a perfect performance. However he put together a performance that provided M&T Bank Stadium as much energy as it has seen since the Ravens’ last Super Bowl season. You have to judge this game by the total impact that Jackson had. His passing numbers are nothing special, but when you combine the rushing total, and account for his impact on the overall rushing attack, Jackson did a great job.