A week after the Baltimore Ravens secure their first win in four games behind rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson, the former Heisman Trophy winner is set to make his second start in a row with Joe Flacco remaining out for at least another week as he looks to come back from a hip injury that has kept him out since the loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Jackson set what as far as we know is a modern football record with 27 total rushes from the quarterback position during the team’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals, picking up 119 yards on the ground. He only attempted 19 passes, completing 13 of them for 150 yards, though he was intercepted and did not record a touchdown either with his arm or his legs.
The heavy amount of rushes caught even Jackson by surprise, telling reporters, “I didn’t think I would run the ball that much. But whatever it takes to win”. He also said that he was worried about getting injured, saying, “I try to get down when I can”, adding that he doesn’t like to take big hits. “I’m not a running back”.
Others seemed to be wondering just that after the game, however, after he finished the game with nearly three fifths of his plays being rushes rather than passes. It was an insinuation that Head Coach John Harbaugh was not happy with at all with the insinuations being made.
“How many plays did the kid make? Running the ball? Throwing the ball?”, he asked following the game. “All this veiled stuff, is he really a thrower? I’ve got news for you—he’s a thrower. The kid can throw. He’s a quarterback!”.
That quarterback will continue to play with a banged up offensive line, as James Hurst has been ruled out for another game. Alex Lewis is also questionable to play after missing the week of practice. Fortunately for them, they are playing the Oakland Raiders, who decided that they don’t need any pass rushers this season.
Jackson’s opportunity to transition into a starting role came at a pretty ideal time, facing a couple of defenses that have been incredibly soft this season. The Bengals in particular had been on one of the worst runs in NFL history, becoming the first team ever to give up over 500 yards in three consecutive games, and they are on pace to give up the most yards ever in a season.
The Raiders, meanwhile, have given up the third-most points in the NFL with a mid-ranked passing defense and bottom-ranked rushing defense. They have a WHOPPING nine sacks on the season, and three of those came from Bruce Irvin before they got rid of him. rookie Maurice Hurst leads the way with four.