Find out how to watch Ravens vs. Dolphins in Week 1 on Sunday.
The Ravens' offense belongs to Lamar Jackson, with the dual-threat quarterback ready to start his first full season under center as the defending AFC North champions open their season against a Dolphins team that made a significant push to a rebuilding season with a flurry of late deals.
Jackson stepped into the starting role mid-season when Joe Flacco got hurt and never looked back as the 2018 late first-round pick led Baltimore to six wins in its final seven games to win the division. His–and the Ravens–season came to an end in the wild-card round with a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Flacco is now in Denver, and coach John Harbaugh has entrusted the offense to Jackson. The Ravens promoted Greg Roman to offensive coordinator and tasked him with creating an offense for his quarterback's electric skills.
Roman has done this dance before with a dual-threat quarterback, serving as offensive coordinator during Colin Kaepernick's meteoric rise with the 49ers. The Ravens organization has bought into Jackson running RPO plays and putting pressure on opposing defenses with his speed and decision-making.
That has filtered throughout the offense with the signing of free agent running back Mark Ingram, one of the league's best between the tackles, and selecting wide receiver Marquise Brown in the first round of the draft. Baltimore also signed Robert Griffin III as Jackson's backup in another example of its commitment to its new offense, though it does have one traditional quarterback on the roster in sixth-round pick Trace McSorley. McSorley, though, likely will be on the active roster as a special teams contributor.
While the offense is unproven to a degree, the defense is in transition following the offseason losses of veteran edge rusher Terrell Sugs and linebacker C.J. Mosley via free agency on top of the expected departures of Za'Darius Smith and Brent Urban. The Ravens have mainly promoted from within to fill those holes, which means this game could see defensive coordinator Wink Martindale use more base schemes in contrast to his "fire zone" blitzes in which five rush and six play zone coverage.
Miami's rebuild that has started under first-year coach Brian Flores was unexpectedly accelerated over the weekend with three separate deals involving starters Laremy Tunsil, Kiko Alonso and Kenny Stills. While the trades gave the Dolphins an impressive haul of draft picks over the next two seasons, the departing players leave huge holes at left offensive tackle, middle linebacker, and wide receiver, respectively.
Flores, who arrives in Miami after spending more than a decade at various positions on Bill Belichick's coaching staff in New England, also surprisingly tabbed veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick over Josh Rosen as his starting quarterback. The Dolphins are Fitzpatrick's eighth NFL team, and the Harvard alum is on his third AFC East team after stints with Buffalo and the New York Jets earlier this decade. The 36-year-old enters the season 643 yards shy of 30,000 and 10 touchdown passes short of 200.
How to Watch:
Time: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 8
TV Channel: CBS
Live Stream: You can stream the game on fuboTV. Sign up now for a free seven-day trial.