With most, if not all of you (the more likely case) being die-hard Baltimore Ravens fans, the point I’ll be making in this article is probably being posted on the wrong site.
It’s more of a national issue, I’d say. Maybe I’m wrong about that and I’ll hear it in the comments, but I doubt it.
Anyway, to the point: we are in no way overreacting to Lamar Jackson’s 2019 debut performance last Sunday. He was downright phenomenal and our excitement is absolutely warranted.
After Jackson flicked his wrist to hit Hollywood Brown for 60 yards (an off-the-top-of-my-head guess) for the third score of the game, I had no idea what to do with myself.
I was shaking.
Those feelings have stuck with me to this very moment, and I can’t wait to see how Jackson follows things up.
Even when I raise the caveat — “but it was the Dolphins, they’re the worst team I’ve ever seen” — I am able to stay ecstatic and justify it. I’ll explain why.
While the Dolphins are, without any doubt, the worst team in the league and certain plays were definitely caused by their sheer ineptitude, I was incredibly impressed by Jackson’s poise and accuracy – especially the latter. As I make this argument, a few plays stick out to me.
First, dealing with Jackson’s improved poise, I thought the touchdown to rookie wideout Miles Boykin was a very telling example. On this play Jackson used his legs to buy time, but instead of trying to juke out defenders and find his way to the edge or throw the ball wildly into coverage, he had the wherewithal to find an open spot in the zone that was near a Raven but not near a Dolphin moving in the same direction. Once he saw that area of green in the back of the end zone, he threw the ball to the spot and trusted his receiver to make the play. Boykin did just that, showing his own poise and football IQ that we should be excited about, but that’s for another time.
The next topic I want to hit in this article about Jackson is his accuracy, and to illuminate any doubters on this issue, I think a few plays stick out. Initially, the TD toss I mentioned earlier to Brown was impressive enough and showed that he’d at least shown a flash of improvement; that ball was just beautiful. However, in subsequent big plays Jackson made through the air, those to Willie Snead and Mark Andrews, I learned that he has improved so much that he can be consistently accurate, which really is the most important thing. On those throws Jackson not only displayed the arm we knew he had but also put a touch on the ball that I don’t think he regularly had last season.
Lamar Jackson just won the first AFC Offense of Player of the Week award on the back of his record-breaking passing performance.
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) September 11, 2019
Overall, as you know, Jackson finished with three incompletions, two of which were a drop and a throwaway. The third incompletion – the only real legitimate one – would have been a third touchdown to Brown had Jackson taken a fraction of strength off the throw. In reality, it was right there.
His passer rating says this, but Lamar Jackson really did have a perfect day down in Miami last weekend. By no means will this continue, but if he can do even half of what he did to the Dolphins secondary while adding a tiny bit more on the ground, the league had better look out.
Personally, I know he can do that. If you do too (and you should), you have every right to be just as excited as I am.