The Baltimore Ravens put up their worst offensive performance with Lamar Jackson under center on Thursday night against the Miami Dolphins, scoring just 10 points against an onslaught of blitzes.
Jackson was visibly frustrated on the field during the game, repeatedly slamming the ball on the turf after failed plays. Cameras caught the 2019 MVP shouting to rookie wide receiver Rashod Bateman and pass game specialist Keith Williams on the sidelines.
It’s unclear what Jackson said to Bateman, but the rookie appeared to agree with his quarterback, responding “Yes, thank you!”
The Ravens struggled to adapt to the Dolphins’ aggressive defense, who blitzed Jackson on 30 of his 50 dropbacks, racking up 24 pressures per Pro Football Focus.
Jackson Explains Frustration
Reporters asked Jackson about his sideline outburst after the game, which was a stark contrast to some of his previous sideline highlights.
“I was hot! We weren’t scoring any points,” he explained, adding, “I feel our defense played lights out.”
Baltimore’s defense held the Dolphins to just six points in the first half and only allowed one touchdown all game. They were particularly effective against the run, limiting the Dolphins to just 60 yards on 22 carries for a miserable 2.7 yards per carry. While the Ravens did allow Jacoby Brissett and Tua Tagovailoa to combine for more than 300 yards through the air, but recorded four sacks and 34 total quarterback pressures in an impressive night for the pass rush.
“We just weren’t getting it done on offense. That’s why I was mad,” said Jackson, who led the Ravens to a season-low 304 total yards on Thursday night.
“If you were on offense, you’d be mad, too!” he added with a chuckle.
Jackson Confident Despite Setback
It didn’t seem like Jackson let the defeat get the better of him, repeatedly emphasizing that “The Dolphins played a great game.”
The Ravens may have looked surprised at the Dolphins’ blitz-heavy strategy, but players and coaches emphasized after the game that they did have a plan.
“We’ve seen it before. We was practicing the whole week,” said Jackson, “We have to do a better job fixing that, get that handled.”
Head coach John Harbaugh had a similar answer, but repeatedly took full responsibility for the disappointing loss.
One reporter asked Jackson about Harbaugh falling on his sword, but the former Louisville Cardinal evaded the question, only saying that he was “not pointing fingers.”
But Jackson will certainly need to work with offensive coordinator Greg Roman to come up with answers to Cover 0 blitzes. Many fans and analysts identified Roman as the main culprit of Baltimore’s offensive collapse on Thursday, and he is now tasked with coming up with the team’s response. Jackson will have input as well; his sideline outburst and postgame comments suggest that he has ideas on how to combat blitzes.
When asked how the Ravens offense could rebound, Jackson responded, “Play our game. Do us.”
Rather than calling blitz-beaters in the huddle, Jackson frequently had to audible at the line of scrimmage, forcing the Ravens away from their usual offensive game plan. They will likely come into next week’s matchup with the Chicago Bears much more prepared to handle the pressure.
Jackson knows there’s work to do, but he’s not sounding any alarm bells yet, saying, “Lot of games left in the season. We good.”