I think we did it Ravens Flock. I think we broke the game….
What. A. Performance.
I literally don’t think we could ask for more than EIGHT offensive touchdowns and 59 points. Let’s break down the dominating Week 1 win against the lowly Dolphins.
What more could you ask for? 31 first downs, 643 yards, 59 points, 40 minutes of possession.
The Ravens ticked every box and they did so with every single offensive group clicking.
I don’t care if it was Dolphins. That was an impressive game of football and I already can’t wait to rewatch it.
Jackson on Jackson: A+
To quote Lamar Jackson himself, “Not bad for a running back”.
"NOT BAD FOR A RUNNING BACK." – @lj_era8
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 8, 2019
All kidding aside, what a season debut for Lamar. Say what you want about Miami’s team and their defense, that performance against anyone is beautiful football. Oh and because Miami is so bad I better hope to see every QB put up those numbers against them. We wouldn’t want inconsistent ‘analysis’ now would we?
Not only did he produce, but his throws were lasers and he attacked some tight windows.
Lamar finished 17/20 (85%), 324 yards and 5 TD which translates into a 158.3 (perfect) passer rating.
I wrote down some key plays, but honestly it’s probably just easier to watch a highlight reel given that almost every throw was a beauty! Unbelievable performance to start the year.
Robert Griffin III also posted an impressive 6/6 for 55 yards, 1 TD. A+’s all around!
Running back: A
Mark Ingram, welcome to Baltimore!
The big man was rumbling from start to finish, amassing an impressive 107 yards on 14 carries (7.6 YPC) and two scores.
It wasn’t necessarily efficient, but Gus Edwards also added 56 yards on 17 carries as the Ravens went into ‘grind the clock’ mode. Rookie Justice Hill added 27 yards on seven carries as well.
The best part of the running game was it didn’t rely on Lamar Jackson’s legs. Ingram looks like a natural in this offense and you have to love the complementary skillsets that Edwards and Hill bring.
Just so the column isn’t too boring, I will throw in a quick critique on Hill. He had one stretch zone play where the backside cut would have been wide open if he made it. It’s a great play to have on tape and teach the young man. Plenty of time for him to learn.
Wide Receiver: A+
A rookie wide receiver that produces!? Somebody pinch me!
Oh wait, TWO rookie wide receivers produced? Hot damn!
That’s right folks, Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown showed off his nickname by burning the Dolphins defense early and taking two to the house. He finished with four catches for 141 yards and the two scores. The other rookie, Miles Boykin, only had one catch, but it was a five-yard TD that wasn’t a drop, so that’s a win!
Here’s the beauty about Brown moving forward. His hitch route that went for 14 yards (0:19, Q1) came off a short route that he turned into some YAC. The beauty I’m referring to is the fact that he can use long plays to set up a short route because he earns the DB’s respect. His ability to do that and add YAC is what will make him a #1 WR in the NFL. He’s more than just a deep threat folks!
Willie Snead also provided some reliability, finishing with two catches, 41 yards and a score.
Exciting times for this complementary WR corps!
Offensive Line: A
Bradley Bozeman won the starting job after a very good preseason. It immediately paid off. He hit on two pulls on the first drive that sent Ingram for 49 yards (14:56, Q1) and his one-yard TD (10:34, Q1).
Ronnie Stanley was, oddly enough, the weak link from my perspective. He got flagged for two holds and, while he didn’t give up any bad plays, he just does not look as dominant as you’d want from a guy that’s going to want top LT money. It’s one game, don’t get me wrong, but just something to keep an eye on.
Orlando Brown Jr. bounced back from a rough preseason. He pushed some bodies and held up well in pass protection.
The OL only allowed one sack and had plenty of push in the run game. The running game average did get knocked down a bit, but when the Ravens began running out the clock they were some loaded boxes. Only so much you can do at that point.
Tight Ends: A+
It’s no surprise that the Ravens had great production from their TE group. They are the best trio in the NFL.
Mark Andrews is picking up where he left off, catching all eight of his targets for 106 yards and a score. He looks like Jackson’s favorite target, and rightfully so.
I thought they were deployed extremely well and it’s going to be very difficult for DCs to adjust to their skillsets. Whether it’s Andrews running any route you ask, Hurst getting in patterns off of motion or Boyle bruising defenders, it’s a great set of weapons for Greg Roman.
I’m going to take some heat on this, and that’s okay. I understand production speaks and I know in blowouts you will see some big plays when the offense has nothing to lose.
However, that doesn’t mean that two big parts of the Ravens defense didn’t play well.
Let’s find out what those parts were…
Defensive Line: A-
In 2018, the Ravens only used 1.90 defensive linemen per snap and I think that we’ll continue to see a similar approach, but when we need two guys in there I’m glad it’s Williams and Pierce.
So what was the first part of the defense that didn’t play well?
The pass rush. This is a Dolphins offensive line that traded their starting LT and they just don’t have any real standouts. Yet, the Ravens didn’t generate much of a pass rush without blitzing. Matt Judon did get home for a sack (and, shout out to Judon for absolutely sticking Ballage in the backfield for a loss of eight – 7:12, Q1), but the four-man rush just didn’t get it done today.
Pernell McPhee did generate some pressure from the Joker position, including a sack, and Tyus Bowser drew an offensive holding during a would-be sack. Maybe it’s my expectations, but I really thought against a weak OL, it could be a great time for the pass rush to get going early.
If it was a grade of Patrick Onwuasor alone, it would be an A. Peanut had a very good game finishing with five tackles, a sack, a TFL, a PD and two QB hits.
They’re going to be fine in run stopping (Board did have a nice TFL – 12:30, Q2), but in the pass game I’m just concerned about how they’ll hold up. Young, in particular, lost Mike Gesicki (3:34, Q1).
Plenty of time for the LBs to put it together and they didn’t play bad by any means. But they did bring the grade down a bit.
Defensive Backs: B
Similar to the LB group, it does feel hard to criticize the DBs too much. They had two interceptions and held the Dolphins to under a 50% completion rate, combined with 179 total yards, so the grade is still reasonable.
That said, there were a few plays that were frustrating and the loss of Jimmy Smith (color me shocked, Jimmy injured again!?) doesn’t inspire confidence moving forward, depending on how long he’s out for.
Anthony Averett gave up a deep completion to DaVante Parker for 49 yards (13:16, Q2) and Preston Williams had a couple of nice plays in a row that resulted in a TD where he was wide open.
Let’s call them growing pains as they tried to regroup after losing Jimmy Smith, but there’s work to be done in the defensive backfield.
Special Teams: A+
Even the Ravens special teams group balled out today.
— Q2 – 8:30: Justin Bethel recovered a muffed punt that set up a Ravens TD
— Q2 – 2:56: Anthony Levine took off for 60 yards on a 4th and 1 with a BEAUTIFUL fake punt. Levine seems to make a play every game.
— Cyrus Jones had punt returns of 15 and 14.
— Sam Koch booted his only punt of the day inside the Dolphins 20 with a 56-yard boomer.
— Justin Tucker hit all eight extra points and connected on a 34-yarder.
My man, Lamar mother flipping Jackson!!!!
I don’t know what the future will bring, but I do know this kid is going to put in the work to get better and boy did it ever feel like he got some payback on all of the ‘analysts’ on Twitter for spending six months doubting him.