Lamar Jackson wasn’t happy.
But something didn’t feel right.
Jackson became the only player in league history to throw for at least 270 yards and rush for at least 120 yards in a regular season game (Colin Kaepernick once did it in a playoff game) in the Ravens’ 23-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
Jackson, though, was more concerned about the plays he didn’t make.
An overthrown pass, a delay of game penalty, a miscommunication on a snap … these are areas that need to be cleaned up before the Ravens travel to Kansas City for a Week 3 showdown.
There is no complacency with this Ravens quarterback.
“The penalties killed us,” Jackson. “[We] made big runs, have to come back 10 yards on holding call. Illegal formation, which is my fault. We just got to execute better. We can’t kill ourselves, and that’s what we did.”
Jackson completed 24 of 37 pass attempts for 272 yards with two touchdowns (104.8 passer rating). He also ran for a game-high 120 yards on 17 carries. He accounted for 392 of the Ravens’ 440 total yards.
The Ravens would rather not see Jackson rush that many times, but he is going to take advantage of the opportunities. With the exception of an illegal horse-collar tackle on Cardinals’ linebacker Cassius Marsh in the third quarter, Jackson managed to avoid any big hits.
“Lamar played a great game running the ball, and running the ball effectively,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. “It was probably the difference maker in the game, and very smartly, in terms of getting out of bounds and getting down and all that kind of stuff. So, I’m happy with all of that.”
Jackson, though, was not thrilled the way the game played out. He admittedly would rather beat teams through the air, and he was mostly effective with that phase of the game.
“I’d rather throw,” he said. “That’s what my job is; just get the ball to my guys – receivers and tight ends. I’d rather throw than run. I’d rather win, too.”
The Ravens offense did enough to win.
Perhaps the biggest play of the day didn’t even result in any points. On a 3rd-and-11 with just under three minutes left in the game, the Ravens were able to seal the victory when Jackson completed a 41-yard pass to Marquise Brown.
Brown finished with 8 receptions for 86 yards and is the type of threat the Ravens have sorely needed for several years.
The biggest concern heading into Kansas City is with the secondary. That unit had several breakdowns in coverage and had costly pass interference penalties.
The Ravens allowed rookie Kyler Murray to throw for 349 yards. They had no answer for Larry Fitzgerald, who was inexplicably able to get wide open downfield. He finished with five receptions for 104 yards.
“He’s got heart, man,” Ravens safety Tony Jefferson said about Murray. “He stood in the pocket sometimes and made some good throws. We had some guys contesting him..it’s the NFL, that’s going to happen. There are some plays where obviously where we could have been in better position or communicated better on a particular play, but it’s the NFL. Those things are going to happen. Week 2, 2-0, so let’s go back, regroup, look at the plays and try to [build] off on that.”
The Ravens are just one of four teams in the AFC that are 2-0, joining New England, Buffalo and Kansas City.
Ravens vs. Chiefs is the best matchup in Week 3.
Patrick Mahomes vs. Jackson is must-see TV.
Somehow, the NFL schedule makers thought primetime matchups between the Browns/Rams (Sunday night) or a winless Redskins/Bears (Monday night) were more intriguing.
The Ravens enter the contest as 6.5-point underdogs, not that Jackson cares.
“I hate losing, period. I lost a playoff game here the last time I played [at M&T Bank Stadium], so I’m ticked off still,” Jackson said. “I don’t plan on losing. You don’t get a game to lose. You try to win. That’s our job – to score points. I’m just going to take it as it is. You just go in and play with confidence and try to come out with a victory. That’s the goal.’