Lamar Jackson Gives Verdict on ‘Lights Out’ Ravens Player

Lamar Jackson

Getty Lamar Jackson gave his verdict on the Ravens' new playmaker.

Lamar Jackson couldn’t get much going on offense for the Baltimore Ravens during Sunday’s 13-3 win over the Carolina Panthers. Jackson averaged just 6.3 yards per completion, threw an interception and took three sacks.

It was tough sledding for Jackson, but the franchise quarterback did finish the game particularly impressed by one breakout Ravens player. This so-far under-the-radar receiver emerged as a true playmaker against the Panthers and added a new element to a passing game that’s become worryingly one dimensional in recent weeks.

Ravens Finally Unleash New Weapon in Passing Game

Demarcus Robinson had barely registered as a factor after arriving as a free agent from the Kansas City Chiefs. The 28-year-old had made just 16 catches before the Panthers visited M&T Bank Stadium.

His lowly output hardly prepared anybody for Robinson’s nine-grab, 128-yard performance. Robinson consistently put plenty of distance between himself and the Panthers’ secondary, per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, who cited Next Gen Stats and reported Jackson’s effusive verdict about his new weapon:

“Lights out” is a good way to describe how Robinson torched the Carolina defense. He did it by showcasing the speed that once made him a useful supporting player in the Chiefs’ “Legion of Zoom” receiving corps.

Stretching defenses vertically became the Chiefs’ forte while Patrick Mahomes threw passes to Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman and Robinson. The latter turned the clock back with this 31-yard grab against the Panthers:

Robinson’s catch and run set up Justin Tucker’s 32-yard field goal that accounted for all the points scored by either team in the first half. The correlation between Robinson’s catch and the Ravens putting points on the board is why offensive coordinator Greg Roman needs to follow up on Jackson’s edict to “keep feeding” No. 10.

Ravens Must Maximize Robinson’s Potential

Robinson’s big day can’t be a one-and-done event. Instead, it must be the start of his greater involvement in the passing game. Baltimore’s aerial attack will still go through tight end Mark Andrews, but the formula could use a shakeup.

Andrews had been dealing with injuries, but the All-Pro was almost an ever-present on his comeback, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic:

As Zrebiec also noted, Robinson saw plenty of snaps, with 54, just four fewer than fellow wideout Devin Duvernay. The number was also a marked increased on the 34 snaps Robinson played against the New Orleans Saints in Week 9.

It’s about targets, though, and Robinson’s share jumped from four to nine. That’s the number he’ll be keeping an eye on moving forward, and it’s the same statistic Roman should keep in mind.

Making greater use of Robinson’s speed will open up the outside passing lanes for the Ravens. That’s how it worked on this play, a 20-yard gain on a corner route:

Jackson doesn’t often target the sideline, but his fondness for the middle of the field is making the Ravens predictable. It’s also keeping this passing attack playing small ball, averaging just 6.8 yards per attempt.

The Ravens are yet to amass 2000 yards through the air this season, making them owners of the fifth-least productive passing game in the NFL, ahead of only the New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans and Chicago Bears.

Being a run-first team only goes so far as an explanation for the Ravens’ struggles beating defenses with the pass. Creating more big plays on the outside is the obvious way to fix the problems, something Robinson should continue to help make happen.

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