With Week 2 finally here there’s a handful of players fans are excited to see on the field again, and this week it’s Lamar Jackson for the Baltimore Ravens.
I thought about doing this weeks spotlight on a more under the radar player, but after his week one performance I had to pick Lamar Jackson. Last Sunday, Jackson opened up the season with a bang by going 17 of 20 for 324 passing yards and five passing touchdowns.
Yes, you read that right. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson topped 300 passing yards for the first time in his career and threw for FIVE touchdowns. He arguably could have thrown for more yards and touchdowns but he was taken out at the end of the 4th quarter for obvious reasons. As Jackson said himself, “not bad for a running back”.
This whole offseason in Baltimore has centered around Lamar Jackson and his inability to throw at the professional level. All of those concerns and doubts were silenced with his performance against the Miami Dolphins and it’s imperative he follows it up this week with a similar performance. If Lamar Jackson were to struggle this week against the Arizona Cardinals, it will set him back quite a bit when it comes to the medias perspective. With that much pressure on him I don’t expect him to fail because he hasn’t yet.
The reason I think the Ravens were so successful on offense against the Dolphins last Sunday was because they prepared to stop the run and not the pass game. All Miami did was follow the blueprint the Chargers layed out for them during the 2019 Wild Card game and it backfired. The Dolphins didn’t expect Jackson to be able to throw the way he did which threw a monkey wrench into their entire game plan.
Now that Jackson has proven he can beat you with his arm, teams will have twice as much to prepare for. If opposing teams put too much focus on stopping Jackson’s legs then that just opens up the pass game and vice versa.
The quick impact of Marquise Brown, last week’s player spotlight, also will take some attention away from Jackson. The Ravens had the best opening game you could ask for and no one expected it, not even the most infatuated Ravens fan.
This week I expect to see a very similar Lamar Jackson out there because this version of him is here to stay. He put in so much effort this offseason in order to perfect his craft and it’s obviously paid off. All those training sessions with quarterback coaches Joshua Harris and Tom House improved his mechanics and it’s obvious with his improved wide throwing base. Jackson seems locked in and ready to prove the world wrong.
Last week Matthew Stafford threw for 385 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Cardinals and without Patrick Peterson, their All-Pro cornerback, their secondary isn’t going to fair much better against this new Ravens offense. The only player that truly worries me on that defense is former Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs because I know much this game means to him. With another Heisman winning quarterback coming to town this weekend I expect Lamar Jackson to put on a show for M&T Banks season opener.