Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is used to setting records–he’s already set multiple NFL records already this season–but he’ll be looking to forget a miserable offensive performance against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night.
Jackson led the Ravens’ offense to just 10 points in Miami, breaking Baltimore’s 52-game streak of scoring at least 14 points dating back to October 2018.
The Ravens only had three points at halftime, tied for their lowest such total with Jackson under center with their matchup with the Indianapolis Colts in October.
When asked about the Ravens’ slow starts, he was visible frustrated, calling them “ridiculous.”
“I don’t understand it either,” he continued, emphasizing that the Ravens have to “do a better job hitting the ground running like we’re supposed to.”
The Ravens moved the ball well on their first two drives, but only scored three points due to a missed 48-yard field goal by Justin Tucker, just his second miss of the season.
Their next four first-half drives all ended in punts, with the third down struggles continuing into the second half. The Ravens finished with just two first downs on 14 third down attempts for a season-low 14.3% conversion rate.
Turnover Issues For Ravens
The Ravens’ struggled with ball security once again, committing two turnovers for the fifth time this season. The first was a Sammy Watkins fumble, forced and returned for a touchdown by Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard, that ended Baltimore’s first drive in the fourth quarter.
The fumble was part of a tough night for Watkins, who made his return from a hamstring injury suffered against the Colts. He also appeared to lose track of an early deep ball in the end zone that looked catchable.
Jackson was asked about the missed touchdown after the game, but said he hadn’t discuss it with Watkins.
The 2019 MVP also threw his first fourth-quarter red zone interception in 55 regular-season games to erase any remaining shred of hope down 12 points with under a minute left.
It’s a testament to Jackson’s ability to take over games that the Ravens scoring two touchdowns in under a minute didn’t seem impossible, but it’s impossible for any team to complete massive comebacks every weeks.`
Dolphins Send Record-High Blitzes
“The Dolphins played a great game,” said Jackson who said the offense was ready for Miami’s heavy use of Cover 0 blitzes, but they struggled to execute on the field.
But the Dolphins’ use of defensive back blitzes was still almost unheard of, with 24 such plays throughout the game, the most faced by any NFL quarterback since 2015, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Jackson repeatedly audibled into screens at the line of scrimmage when faced with seven- and eight-man defensive fronts, but the Dolphins’ speed in both getting to Jackson and dropping back in coverage left the Ravens with no answers.
He said after the game that he felt like teams hadn’t blitzed him that hard since his rookie season, when his legs far outshined his arm, forcing opponents to load up against the run and dare Jackson to pass.
He’s excelled through the air this season, but his inability to adapt to the blitz on Thursday night will have future opponents taking note. The Ravens will need to come to the rest of their games this season prepared to face similar pressure and armed with a plan of attack.