Lamar Jackson does not immediately steal the starting quarterback job of Joe Flacco, but the Ravens will still think of ways to exploit the rare play qualities that Jackson has. He is just too special with the ball in his hands not to receive a handful of touches per game.
Baltimore tried and failed to execute a reverse pass with Jackson
One way to get the ball in the hands of a dynamic playmaker is to have him catch the ball, every game and every foul from there … or try to make him play a downside.
It does not look like this game was meant as a passage to the right side of the field. The left tackle was blown up by Jerry Hughes and Jackson had to reverse the field so that he could avoid a huge loss.
If the left hoist can hold its block a bit longer, it might be worth it to re-run the piece. Getting the ball into the hands of Jackson in space is never a bad idea, the execution just needs some work.
The Ravens showed a new option with Jackson in the game
Baltimore tried in the first quarter to gather in a reading option while the game was still nearby. Jackson probably had to give up the ball here, but Buffalo did well on both the way back and the quarterback.
The Ravens made it a little more difficult here by splitting Joe Flacco into a wide receiver. That does not fool anyone – it is a clear signifier of a run play. Darn, he does not even move. This allowed Buffalo to sell out to stop the run. This is a piece where the Ravens can easily be successful, they just have to hide their plan better. Maybe you are trying to use a real receiver.
Lamar Jackson participated in the RPO fun
Now that Baltimore has a quarterback with elite mobility and walking ability, the Ravens can dip their feet a bit more in the RPO game.
Jackson did not throw a pass because the numbers were not in his favor. Tremaine Edmunds (Bills linebacker, no. 49) stood in the way of a possible violation of the seam to the tight end. Jackson could not throw the screen at Willie Snead, because Buffalo prepared two defenders to come close to him.
So Jackson did what he did best and made a handy move for a short win.
He only completed one pass, but it was a big throw in the seam
Jackson completed only one of his four passes in his season debut against the Bills. He had a great stab in the seam of the former second-rate pick Maxx Williams in the fourth quarter of the game.
Jackson is not the most polished passer-by yet, but he does have a huge advantage to become one of the games with better pitchers. The anticipation of this roll is great – as soon as Williams breaks into the zone cover behind the linebacker, the ball is exactly where it should be for Williams to get meters after the catch.
For the first time in years the Ravens think outside the framework of the violation. They have a dynamic talent in Jackson that forces them to come up with creative ways to get him on the field. Whether it is an option, an opposite or an RPO, the Ravens clearly want to keep Jackson involved in their offense.
Jackson did not have a huge impact on Sunday in the Ravens 47-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills, but he will certainly release one if they keep handing him the ball. For an attack that was starved last year for big games (32nd in big success rate), they do not really have a choice.