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Late for Work: Lamar Jackson Was NFL's 'Best Offensive Player' in Week 2

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Cincinnati.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Cincinnati.

Lamar Jackson Was NFL's 'Best Offensive Player' in Week 2

Lamar Jackson has had games in which he threw more touchdown passes, rushed for more yards, and made more highlight reel plays, but his performance in Sunday's 27-24 win at Cincinnati was among the best of his pro career.

Jackson and the Ravens set the tone on the opening possession with a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ate up more than half the quarter. Jackson (24-for-33, 237 yards, two touchdowns; 12 carries for 54 yards) continued to operate the offense with efficiency throughout the game, using his arm and legs.

What made Jackson's showing even more impressive is that it was just his second game in new Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken's system.

"Lamar was the best offensive player we saw [Sunday]," The Ringer's Bill Simmons said on “The Bill Simmons Podcast.” "He was awesome, and that was one of those you really had to watch the game. It was just one of those Lamar games.

"If you just see the box score you're like, 'Oh, Lamar had a good game.' But he had complete command over that game."

Pat McAfee also marveled at Jackson's performance, especially what he did in the passing game.

"He looked unbelievable," McAfee said on "The Pat McAfee Show." "That ball he dropped into Zay [Flowers] in between two guys was beautiful. … He did run. He made some people miss. He still has that. But what his arm was able to do [Sunday] was what made us all go, 'OK, the Ravens are gonna be a team.'"

Richard Sherman on Fox Sports’ “Undisputed” said: "Lamar Jackson is showing his MVP form. That throw to Zay Flowers was unbelievable. … You always talk about Lamar being known for being mobile and running the ball. They were talking about him being a running back. I ain't never seen a running back throw it like that."

"Good Morning Football's" Jason McCourty expressed a similar opinion.

"This is the version of Lamar Jackson we've been waiting to see," McCourty said. "He came into the league in 2018, took the league by storm running around. Every time he took off it was electric. Watching him stand in the pocket and just make throws, if you're a Ravens fan this has to have you fired up.

"The best part about it is that he's making these throws but we still see those glimpses of Lamar being Lamar."

ESPN’s Jamison Hensley said that Jackson's improved accuracy has taken the 2019 MVP to another level.

"In Sunday's 27-24 win in Cincinnati, Jackson delivered one of the best passes of his six-year career, hitting rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers for a spectacular 52-yard completion," Hensley wrote. "With only 0.7 yards of separation between Flowers and two Bengals defensive backs, Jackson placed the ball on Flowers' hands on a pass that had a 33.8% completion probability, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.

"This is the latest throw that shows how on point Jackson has been in leading the Ravens to a 2-0 start. His 74.5% completion rate ranks second in the NFL to Josh Allen (76.9%) and is far above his career completion percentage of 63.7%."

Mike Macdonald Owns Paycor Stadium?

Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald has done such a good job of containing the explosive Bengals offense that he now owns Paycor Stadium, the team's home.

It was on Wikipedia, so it must be true.

All kidding aside, Macdonald has been masterful against the Bengals in the four games he has gone up against them. On Sunday, the Ravens limited Cincinnati to 17 points and 282 yards despite playing without All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey and safety Marcus Williams and having outside linebacker Odafe Oweh limited to 14 snaps due to suffering an ankle injury.

"Good Morning Football's" Peter Schrager named Macdonald his Coach of the Week.

Ravens Stars Send Well Wishes to Browns RB Nick Chubb

The Cleveland Browns were dealt a huge blow in last night's 26-22 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers when four-time Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb suffered a knee injury that will end his season, per Head Coach Kevin Stefanski. Chubb is believed to have torn multiple ligaments, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The Ravens know how the Browns feel, as they lost running back J.K. Dobbins to a season-ending torn Achilles in Week 1. Several of the Ravens' top stars sent well wishes to Chubb on social media.

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