If there’s one play from the Ravens’ win over the Rams that’s going to have everyone talking, it was Lamar Jackson’s razzle-dazzle touchdown in the first quarter.
The rookie quarterback showed off his uncanny playmaking ability when he turned what looked like a sack into a 9-yard touchdown.
Jackson scrambled out of the pocket into the middle of the defense, juked out a defender and then cut back to avoid another tackler as he cruised into the end zone.
“I thought he was tackled twice – and then he wasn’t,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “You always appreciate that if he’s on your team.”
The score was reminiscent of the plays Jackson made throughout his college career at Louisville, where he won a Heisman Trophy and electrified the college football landscape. Jackson has shown in his first two preseason appearances that his scrambling ability can translate to the NFL level, and he thrives when he gets into the open field.
“I made a guy miss and tried to do what I do best, tried to get in the end zone,” Jackson said. “It was excellent.”
The play naturally brought big cheers from the crowd at M&T Bank Stadium, as many of those in attendance were getting to see Jackson in person for the first time. Starting quarterback Joe Flacco, who orchestrated a touchdown drive in his one series, was impressed as he watched from the sideline.
“He’s so good at cutting back on guys,” Flacco said. “The ability to stop on a dime, it was pretty impressive. Obviously, it got a lot of reactions for it, as it should.”
Jackson had a strong overall game in his second outing of the summer. He took over after Flacco’s one drive and played into the third quarter. He completed 7-of-18 passes for 119 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. He also added five carries for 21 yards.
Jackson showed development as a passer from last week’s Hall of Fame game against the Chicago Bears, and was pleased with how he handled himself in the pocket.
“That the thing that I was trying to excel on this week that I didn’t do against the Bears – just try to be a better passer in the pocket,” Jackson said. “I thought I did a little better, but I didn’t throw a touchdown this game. So I was kind of ticked off.”
Jackson has been hard on himself during his post-game interviews in each of the last two weeks. He’s talked about plays he’s left on the field, and he stressed Thursday night that the Ravens should have found the end zone more than settling for field goals.
The offense scored one touchdown with Jackson at the helm, but kicked three field goals.
“It was pretty cool, but I’m trying to score every drive, not just kick field goals,” he said. “Big problem there.”
Harbaugh praised Jackson for how he’s handled himself the last two weeks. He’s proved to be a quick learner and is eager to grow from his mistakes, and the Ravens are confident he’s headed in the right direction.
“He does seem poised for a rookie,” Harbaugh said. “He’s going to really continue to blossom, just for that reason.”
Check out the best shots from Thursday night's preseason game between the Ravens and visiting Los Angeles Rams.