The Ravens’ Triple Option Play Is a New Way for Them to Torture Defenses

In Monday’s Hot Clicks: The Ravens debut a fascinating offensive wrinkle, Dion Waiters has a bad trip and more.
Publish date:

NFL defenses should be very scared of the Ravens

Ravens' Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III run triple option

Lamar Jackson continues to strengthen his case as the most electrifying player in the NFL.

Jackson and the Ravens trounced the lowly Bengals yesterday, behind a historically great performance from the second-year quarterback. Jackson completed 15 of 17 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns. That works out to a perfect passer rating, making him only the second quarterback in history to have two perfect passing rating games in one season

Jackson also (rightly) drew comparisons to Michael Vick after this 47-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. He juked by one defender and sent two more tumbling to the turf with a vicious spin move. 

But the play I can’t stop thinking about is this one from the second quarter. Jackson, running back Mark Ingram and backup QB Robert Griffin III all lined up in the backfield and ran a college-style triple option play. 

No other team in the NFL can put two quarterbacks as fast as Jackson and Griffin on the field at the same time. It was only a 12-yard gain on a second in the first half of a game against the worst team in the NFL but teams around the league should be very wary of getting torched by this package in the future. 

Once you realize that the Ravens are willing to put two quarterbacks on the field at once, the possibilities are endless. The triple option one of the hardest plays to stop in football, and the Ravens can do more than just run the ball out of this look. They could run swing passes to Jackson or have Griffin throw the ball after taking a pitch. They could get the defense to bite extra hard on a play-action fake and then throw a deep bomb. 

I’m not saying the Ravens have to transform into a gimmick offense. They’ve done just fine running a fairly tradition offense that simply benefits from Jackson’s ability to escape pressure with his feet. But having the ability to get tricky in a key spot could be the most exciting moment of the playoffs. You know Bill Belichick would be licking his lips at the opportunity to draw something up to stop a two-QB package. 

The best of SI

Is Alabama’s loss to LSU going to keep the Tide out of the playoff? ... Will the Giants be decisive enough to get rid of Pat Shurmur quickly? ... Arkansas’s Chad Morris was the second coach in two weeks to get fired after less than two seasons, an indication of college football’s win-now culture

Around the sports world

The Knicks’ president and GM held a press conference to apologize for how bad the team is. ... Todd Frazier complained to the governor of New Jersey about turkeys in his yard. ... The Heat suspended Dion Waiters for 10 games after he reportedly ate a weed gummy on the team plane and had a panic attack. ... Jeremy Roenick shared a story about getting drunk playing golf with Michael Jordan and then watching MJ tear it up in a game later that day. 

Hero’s welcome for Joe Burrow

Browns fans need some lessons from Bills fans

Earmuffs, JuJu

Proud papa

Quite the victory lap

That didn’t go as planned

Pandemonium in Minnesota after the Gophers upset Penn State

Flawless execution

College Gameday, nursing home style

Well done

You had one job

2019 in a nutshell

Not sports

Divers recovered almost 1,000 bottles of 100-year-old cognac from a Russian shipwreck. ... A Minnesota man got ticketed for jumping his jet ski over a road. ... A plane participating in a gender reveal stunt crashed in a field in Texas. 

I am in awe

Get a load of this Danish amusement park “ride”

A good song

Email with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to seeprevious editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.