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  • Baltimore promised a "revolutionary" offense this season, and in their first game of the season against Miami, Lamar Jackson and the rest of the unit brought just that.
By Alaa Abdeldaiem
September 08, 2019

Lamar Jackson knew what was on the horizon. 

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, four days before the Ravens' season opener against the Dolphins, Jackson appeared antsy with anticipation, ready to give the league its first glance at the new-look offense he hoped would be the "best offense they've ever seen."

"We've been doing it every day in practice. You've got to do it in practice first," Jackson said. "As soon as we get out on the field, we're going 100 miles an hour."

On Sunday, the Ravens did exactly that.

Baltimore cruised to a big 59–10 win in Miami thanks Jackson's perfect performance (he recorded the first perfect QB rating—158.3—in Ravens history). After his passing abilities were questioned throughout his 2018 rookie season and into the offseason, Jackson silenced those doubts from the get-go, completing his first nine passes of the contest for 204 yards and four touchdowns, both career-high marks. He looked crisp and smooth, finishing the game 17-of-20 passing for 324 yards and five touchdowns, tying Joe Flacco and Tony Banks for the most passng touchdowns thrown in a single game.

"Not bad for a running back," Jackson said following the win, referencing those who doubted him.

But the QB was far from the standout performer. As Jackson noted post-game, the offensive line did its job. Receivers and tight ends got open quickly and often. Tight end Mark Andrews had eight catches for 108 yards, both career highs. Rookie wide receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown had four catches for 147 yards, and his first two catches went for touchdowns. Andrews, Willie Snead IV, Miles Boykin and fullback Patrick Ricard also tallied their own scores. 

Yes, the Dolphins may be in full-on tank mode this season, especially after trading away Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills to the Texans. But the Ravens promised a "revolutionary" offense before the season's start, and they delivered. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman played to Jackson's strengths by making adjustments and keeping things simple. The Ravens used three of their first four picks in the draft on skill players, selecting Brown and receiver Miles Boykin alongside running back Justice Hill, and signed Mark Ingram. 

And from the very first play on Sunday—a 49-yard run from Ingram—that strategy appeared to pay off. The opening drive culminated in a one-yard score from Ingram, and the second and third only added to the fire, both ending in deep scores from Brown.

The first three drives demonstrated what the Ravens wanted to do offensively: keep the defense guessing with play-action, exploit downfield opportunities and establish the running game.

And by the game's end on Sunday, the Ravens had a franchise record in points and total offense (643 yards).

Jackson was excited to show off this offense the entire offseason. If Week 1 was any indication of what's to come, there may be a good reason for others to be, too.

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