I hate to say it, but… Well done, Lamar.
With Joe Flacco out with the most ambiguous injury ever, rookie Lamar Jackson got his first career start with the Baltimore Ravens. And won. 24-21 over the Bengals. Statswise, he did about as well as I thought he would. Jackson went 13/19 for 150 yards, 0TD’s, 1 INT and a QBR of 35.3 (I wish I knew what that meant). Here’s what I liked: 27 carries for 117 rushing yards. Harbaugh called a hell of a game playing exactly to Jackson’s strengths allowed him to shine. He didn’t “light up the league” like a very small group of people thought he would, but he got the job done.
Joe Flacco is still out with a hip injury. The Raven’s staff have been very vague about the time table. The reports I have read say that his injury could require surgery immediately, maybe it could wait until the end of the season, it could just need rest or he could just play through it. This sets his time table for return somewhere around 1 day to 4 months. This could mean a lot more Lamar Jackson. Or none at all, no one knows. If I was a Raven’s fan, I would be reassured in the fact that no matter what, you still have a quarterback that can run an offense.
Now, why does a mediocre stat line impress me? It doesn’t. Stats are for losers so I don’t care about any of them. Here’s what did. Lamar Jackson did exactly what he was supposed to do. I thought, because of the way he was forced to play at Louisville, he would try to do everything himself. But not only did he follow the gameplan exactly, he executed in every critical part of the game. He scored on his first drive, gained 23 first downs (8/16 on 3rd down), and came back from a 21-13 deficit.
As a backup quarterback, when the starter is out, your one job is not to win. It is just to manage the game. Keep your team competitive. He definitely got some help from his defense and a missed field goal from Cincinnati Kicker Randy Bullock. Sure, he didn’t do it all on his own, but nobody ever does. Real team baller. Lamar Jackson managed the hell out of the game and earned this win.
Great job, Lamar.
You still look like Broccoli Jr. from VeggieTales though.