Everyone saw enough of Lamar Jackson’s arm in Week 1 to be excited for the future of the Baltimore Ravens quarterback.
In Week 2, he posted a reminder that it’s his legs that make him different.
Lamar Jackson makes history in air and on ground
Jackson rushed for a career-high 120 yards while going 24-for-37 with 272 passing yards and two touchdowns in the air in a 23-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. That stat line was prolific enough to be unique in NFL history.
Per Pro Football Reference's Play Index, Lamar Jackson is the first player in NFL history to throw for at least 270 yards and rush for at least 120 in the same game.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) September 15, 2019
That comes after last season, in which Jackson set an NFL record for rushing attempts by a quarterback with 147, prompting some concerns about his long-term durability and viability. Records like the one above are probably more what the Ravens wanted to see.
The 22-year-old likely wasn’t going to last in the league if he had to run up the middle several times per game, so something needed to change. Basically, he had to make teams respect his arm.
He delivered some more good news on that front yet again Sunday.
Another strong passing day for Jackson and Ravens
Jackson began the game right where he left off in his 59-10 evisceration of the Miami Dolphins, going 5-for-5 for 74 yards and a touchdown, plus a 19-yard run, on the Ravens’ first drive Sunday. The Cardinals did a better job on defense for the rest of the game, but Jackson was still able to break off a number of significant runs to keep the Ravens ahead.
The game effectively ended on what was quite possibly Jackson’s best throw all afternoon. Up by six points and on third-and-11 with three minutes remaining, Jackson dropped a perfect pass into the hands of a downfield Marquise Brown for 41 yards.
The Ravens sealed the win with a few more runs in the red zone, and left the field 2-0. Jackson missed on a few downfield throws and took a few sacks, but still very much looked like one of the most dangerous players in the NFL. And definitely not a running back.
Through two games, Jackson is 41-for-57 with 596 passing yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. He seems to have two breakout receivers catching passes for him in second-year tight end Mark Andrews (220 receiving yards, 16 receptions and two touchdowns so far) and first-rounder Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (233 yards, 12 catches and two TDs). And he can still do stuff like this.
It’s still early in the season and the Ravens haven’t faced the best teams so far, but Jackson has looked like the quarterback that Ravens fans have dreamed of since he was taken 32nd overall in last year’s draft.
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