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Lamar Jackson Runs Over Cardinals in Week 2

Lamar Jackson wasn't perfect with his arm this time.

But guess what? He can still run.

A week after throwing five touchdowns and posting a perfect quarterback rating, Jackson ran for a career-high 120 yards in the Ravens' 23-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2.

Time-and-time again, Jackson picked up key first downs and big gains when he tucked the ball and ran. Most weren't scripted runs, but Jackson took what the Cardinals defense gave him and made them pay.

So how will defenses stop Jackson's dangerous combination?

"It's just going to be a real conundrum for them," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "They're going to have to figure it out for themselves.

"Lamar played a great game running the ball, and running the ball effectively. It was probably the difference-maker in the game."

Don't get it twisted, Jackson still threw the ball quite well. He completed 24 of 37 passes for 272 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. It's not a 158.3 quarterback rating, but 104.8 is still quite good.

When combined with his running, it was another record-setting day for the sophomore. Jackson became the first player in NFL history to throw for at least 250 yards and rush for at least 120 yards in the same game. His seven touchdown passes through two games are the most in Ravens history.

Despite that, Jackson didn't seem all that thrilled after the game.

"I felt like I was alright," Jackson said. "I came out, executed some things. Could have been better. There's a lot of passes I want back, some sacks I want back. But we came out with that victory."

A week after running just three times in Miami, Jackson chipped away at the Cardinals defenses with 16 rushes on Sunday. As Harbaugh has said, he's not on a "pitch count." Jackson will run when it serves the team best.

Still, the Ravens quarterback didn't seem quite as pleased this time around. He is happy with the win, but not thrilled with the offense's multiple penalties and frustrated with some of his missed throws.

"I'd rather throw," Jackson said. "That's what my job is; just get the ball to my guys – the receivers and the tight ends. I'd rather throw than run. [But] I'd rather win, too."

Jackson burnt the Cardinals on the edges of their defense. Don't have perfect containment and he's zipping up the sideline.

Jackson kept on a read-option and got to the edge for a 19-yard gain on the Ravens' first drive of the game, then ended it with a 27-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mark Andrews. On the Ravens' third drive, Jackson busted loose for a 16-yard gain, helping to set up a field goal.

On the next drive, he picked up five yards on third-and-4 when he tucked and ran, then ripped off an 18-yard scamper on the very next play. Jackson could have run in for a 1-yard touchdown at the end of that drive, but instead flipped a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Hayden Hurst.

"I just had to take what the defense gave me, and sometimes I had to run," Jackson said. "I just had to move the sticks."

In the third quarter, the Ravens called a quarterback draw facing third-and-20. Juking and dashing past five Cardinals defenders, Jackson came just one yard short of picking it up. That set up a fourth-and-1 from the 5-yard line, and Jackson was hungry to punch it into the end zone.

The Ravens lined up to go for it and had a play called, but it was too complex to line up in such a short time and the play clock ran out. Jackson was livid. He ripped his helmet off and stalked to the sideline before spinning his helmet to the turf.

"He's a super competitive person," Harbaugh said. "He wants to win. He was mad in the third quarter. I just love that about him."

The Cardinals gained momentum in the fourth quarter and looked dangerously capable of pulling off an upset as they trailed by just three points. Jackson turned the tide with two straight completions, then a 10-yard run, to set up a 51-yard field goal.

Baltimore's defense clamped down for back-to-back three-and-outs and Jackson finished the job on the Ravens' last drive. After landing jab after jab with his legs, Jackson delivered the knockout punch with his arm.

Facing a third-and-11 with about three minutes remaining and a six-point lead, the Ravens could have run the ball, milked the clock and relied on their defense to get another stop. Instead, they put Jackson in the shotgun with five receivers. How about that for confidence?

Jackson stepped back and launched a perfect pass into the arms of Marquise "Hollywood" Brown deep down the right sideline for a 41-yard gain. Ballgame.

"You all watched Lamar make great throws all day from the pocket. He has improved dramatically there," Cardinals Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "He can beat you that way and with his legs.

"If he's throwing like that from the pocket, and he's that accurate in getting through his progressions, it's really difficult [to defend]."

Jackson had some fun with former teammate Terrell Suggs, who isn't afraid to give an unfiltered opinion of quarterbacks. Suggs watched Jackson boost the Ravens into the playoffs last season as a rookie. Now a member of the Cardinals, Suggs got his first look at the sophomore version of Jackson.

"It was good to see how much he has grown from last year," Suggs said. "He's an NFL quarterback now, and he's phenomenal."

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