Ravens Win 59-10
The Ravens record-setting performance against Miami shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Granted, they beat an inferior opponent 59-10, but that’s what good teams are supposed to do.
Lamar Jackson silenced the naysayers, setting career highs for passing yards (324) and touchdowns (5). The second-year quarterback looked confident controlling the huddle and throwing the ball downfield.
“Not bad for a running back,” he said after the game, taking a shot at his critics.
Jackson’s strides aren’t surprising to anyone in the Ravens’ locker room. His improved mechanics were evident throughout training camp, and all of the offseason work appears to have paid off in his first real test.
“He’s worked really hard,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I think he’s only going to continue to improve because he wants to work at it. … He’s definitely better. He was a rookie last year. He didn’t practice much throughout the course of the year. So he’s had a chance to be with the No. 1 offense on a daily basis and he did a great job with it.”
Now, the Ravens have to build on the performance as the schedule gets tougher gets tougher. They open at home against Arizona in Week 2 before showdowns with Kansas City (away), Cleveland (home) and Pittsburgh (away) in succession.
“We just played excellent football,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a good beginning for us and now our challenge is to get ready for the next one.”
Jackson’s ability to throw the ball downfield could spell trouble for most opponents, who won’t be able to stack the box. The Ravens running attack amassed 265 yards against overmatched Miami. Greg Roman did a good job spreading around the workload among Mark Ingram (14 carries, 107 yards, 2 touchdowns), Gus Edwards (17 carries, 56 yards) and Justice Hill (7 carries, 27 yards).
The three-pronged attack kept the players fresh, and potentially formidable late in the game.
The Ravens held the ball twice as much as the Dolphins, 40:07 to 19:53. This also will be vital moving forward to keep the ball away from the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield, Ben Roethlisberger, and Tom Brady in Week 9.
Fans have been waiting for rookie Marquise Brown to flash and he delivered in a big way, catching a pair of touchdown passes from 47 and 83 yards. There is not a cornerback or safety in the league that can keep pace with him once he kicks in that final gear.
Overall, the Ravens set a franchise record for points in the first half (42). They broke franchise marks for points (59), total yards (643) and margin of victory (49).
“We said it before that this was going to be a different offense. I don’t think people really believed us when we said that,” tight end Mark Andrews said. “We bring a different flavor. We’re able to run the ball when we need to and throw the ball when we need to. It’s going to be pick your poison for the defense.”
Lost in all of the production of the offense was a stellar performance on the other side of the ball. The defense force three turnovers, held the Dolphins to just 200 overall yards (21 rushing) and had three sacks.
Despite the great performance, there was some dampening news as cornerback Jimmy Smith hurt his right knee in the first half and did not return. An MRI is scheduled for today. The Ravens already lost fellow cornerback Tavon Young to a neck injury so their depth is starting to be tested.
“It’s not a season ending injury, as far as we know right now,” Harbaugh said about Smith. “It does not look like that at all.”