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Ravens Quarterback Is Proving Doubters Wrong

9/20/2019, 6 a.m.
"Not bad for a running back," Jackson said when asked about his five-touchdown performance in the season opener.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson Jackson finished the home opener with 272 passing yards and two touchdowns. Courtesy Photo/Associated Press

The Baltimore Ravens committed themselves to having a balanced attack on offense. New offensive coordinator Greg Roman went back to the drawing board and devised ways to feature Lamar Jackson as a passer. There were doubts about Jackson's passing ability entering the 2019 season, but none of the people inside the Ravens' facility questioned their quarterback.

Head coach John Harbaugh proclaimed the Ravens would have a new offense and that Jackson's passing ability will showcased. So far the results have showed.

Jackson opened the season with an amazing performance against the Miami Dolphins. He finished the game with a ridiculous 85-completion percentage for 324 yards and five touchdowns. Jackson's quarterback rating was 158.3.

The home opener in Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals showed Jackson's dual-threat ability as a passer and a runner. Jackson finished the day with 272 passing yards and two touchdowns. He added 120 rushing yards as well. Harbaugh was impressed by Jackson's performance.

"I thought he was just tremendous," Harbaugh said after the game. "Both getting to the sticks by throwing the ball, and then when they had people covered and the offensive line did a good job sustaining the protection, by getting out and running to the sticks. He did it both ways. That's all you can ever ask for from a quarterback to do that. Keeps a lot of pressure on the defense."

Through two games, Jackson's seven passing touchdowns ties him with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Pat Mahommes for the most in the NFL. The Ravens travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs this weekend.

Jackson's primary target has been tight end Mark Andrews. The second-year tight end has caught 16 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns. However, when Jackson wants a big play, he goes to rookie wideout Marquise 'Hollywood' Brown.

Brown is averaging 19.4 yards per catch. He has posted touchdowns of 83 and 47 yards so far this season.

Baltimore invested in their quarterback by adding Brown and Miles Boykin in this year's draft. They selected tight end Hayden Hurst and Jackson in the first round of the 2018 draft. The Ravens also added Andrews in the third round that year.

The pieces are in place for a potent offensive attack. Jackson is always going to be a threat running the ball, but this year he is more than just a runner and is taking delight in proving those who underestimated him during the draft process.

"Not bad for a running back," Jackson said when asked about his five-touchdown performance in the season opener.