It took one quarter for Marquise “Hollywood” Brown’s NFL debut to become an instant classic.
Talk about sudden impact. The Ravens knew they were getting a playmaker when they drafted the speedy wide receiver from Oklahoma in the first round back in April. But did anybody really expect two scores on his first two touches?
"I know you all have seen the speed," quarterback Lamar Jackson said. "You seen it, right?"
Brown’s 147 yards on his first four catches gave him the most receiving yards for a player making his Ravens debut, with more than a half still to play. It also made Brown, according to ESPN’s Field Yates, just the third player in NFL history to score touchdowns on his first two catches.
Remember, Brown had foot surgery in February that kept him out of OTAs and part of training camp, and he did not practice on Friday. But even if Brown is not 100 percent, he looks like he moves 100 miles per hour.
This is what first-year General Manager Eric DeCosta had in mind when he made Brown the first draft choice of his tenure. He wanted a playmaker for Lamar Jackson, someone who could take pressure off the second-year quarterback and become a quick-strike weapon from anywhere on the field.
Brown’s first quarter was electric. His first touchdown came on a simple slant pattern, but he had one-on-one coverage. When Brown caught the football, Dolphins cornerback Eric Rowe went for the diving tackle and missed it. See you later. Nobody was going to catch Brown from behind.
“That slant, I hadn’t really caught that in practice but Lamar seen it and it opened up and he threw it to me,” Brown said.
When he reached the end zone, Brown looked up and gestured to the crowd. This was a special game for him, playing close to his hometown of Hollywood, Fla., with plenty of family and friends in attendance.
The second touchdown came on Brown’s specialty, the deep ball. Jackson had time in the pocket and saw Brown streaking from left to right on a post pattern. This time the victim was Dolphins safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Opponents know Brown is fast, but it’s hard to gauge just how fast he is until you see him in person. By the time Fitzpatrick figured that out, it was too late. Brown blew past Fitzpatrick, who made a futile attempt to slow him down with his arms. Brown kept going and caught Jackson’s long ball in stride, then raced into the end zone.
“Coach put me in a great position,” Brown said. “All I had to do was catch the ball and make a play.
“Lamar did a good job buying time. He threw a great ball.”
Brown’s second touchdown gave Baltimore a 21-0 lead, and it also gave the Ravens a glimpse of their offensive future. The Jackson to Brown connection is here, and it’s electric.
"We knew it was there," offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley said. "Everybody was kind of, 'Wait till the game to really see that thing happen.' But we knew what those guys are capable of and the connection they had just being out in the locker room and stuff. It was good to see it translate to the field."