Mixed reviews on Lamar Jackson's debut with Ravens in HOF Game

Mixed reviews on Lamar Jackson's debut with Ravens in HOF Game


Mixed reviews on Lamar Jackson's debut with Ravens in HOF Game


It wasn’t pretty, but what did we expect? Almost none of the 1’s played, so it turned into a minor league football game.

The goals were to let the backups play and learn, and to be inspired.

There was a little spark of offense, some provided by Baltimore’s first-round draft picks. Lamar Jackson’s 7-yard touchdown pass to fellow first-rounder Hayden Hurst came after the Ravens’ defense recovered a fumble.

Chicago put together its best drive in the final minutes and journeyman Tyler Bray connected with Tanner Gentry for a 10-yard score to cap a 92-yard march. But the 2-point conversion pass fell incomplete.

Otherwise, D was the letter of the day: there were six turnovers in all, and 12 sacks, eight by the Bears.

The teams exchanged tipped interceptions on the first two possessions of the preseason.

Chicago moved swiftly downfield only to have Chase Daniel‘s pass to Josh Bellamy deflected to safety Chuck Clark at the Baltimore 6. He returned it 15 yards, then the Ravens replicated the turnover.

Robert Griffin III, attempting a comeback after sitting out 2017, had his pinpoint throw go off the hands of receiver Breshad Perriman, then off rookie cornerback Michael Joseph. DeAndre Houston-Carson dived to make the pick at the Ravens 34.

The Bears soon converted when Michael Burton caught a 4-yard scoring pass from Daniel.

Baltimore tied it, sparked by two big gainers by undrafted rookie running back Gus Edwards. Griffin found Maxx Williams for a 4-yard score.

“It felt great,” Griffin said. “I can’t tell you how grateful I am to play the game again.”

On the next play from scrimmage, linebacker Kamalei Correa sped 19 yards with an interception to the Chicago 9. But the Bears defense sacked Griffin on third down to hold Baltimore to a 31-yard field goal by Kaare Vedvik.

Generally, it was a sloppy affair among backups marred by a slew of dropped passes, poor protection for the quarterbacks, and misthrows by those QBs.

The first application of the NFL’s enhanced enforcement of penalties for players lowering their helmet to make a tackle occurred early. Ravens linebacker Patrick Onwuasor was flagged for his hit on Benny Cunningham, earning a 15-yard penalty that helped set up Chicago’s first touchdown.

Correa got nailed for the same violation in the third quarter, but he also had a sack that forced a fumble in that period, and three sacks overall.

Jackson looked raw yet showed some flashes of promise. He showed off his quickness and athleticism on a pressure-escape play. He made a couple of pinpoint pass completions. But overall, too many of his passes were released from the pocket without much timing urgency or accuracy. He threw a terrible interception which was telegraphed all the way.

Considering that he was working with his 2’s, 3’s and 4’s for the most part on offense, maybe you can cut him some slack. But the same can be said for his opposition on defense. He wasn’t exactly facing the 1985 Chicago Bears defense.

Frankly, my first impression of Lamar Jackson as a pro QB is negative. He is gifted athletically but he looks out of sorts in the Ravens current game plan. Of course all we got in this game was a vanilla game plan. But still… he just didn’t look the part of a commanding presence behind the line of scrimmage. He kind of looked “small” coming out of the huddle. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me… or maybe he just needs more time to develop. In 2018 I tend to compare any rookie QB to Carson Wentz’ rookie season as a benchmark. Clearly at this juncture Lamar Jackson is no Carson Wentz.

Baltimore Passing
Robert Griffin III 7/11 58 5.3 1 1 3-16 69.5
Josh Woodrum 6/6 37 6.2 0 0 2-13 92.4
Lamar Jackson 4/10 33 3.3 1 1 3-18 42.9
TEAM 17/27 81 4.7 2 2 8-47 68.1
Baltimore Rushing
Gus Edwards 10 35 3.5 0 16
Lamar Jackson 8 25 3.1 0 10
Josh Woodrum 1 17 17.0 0 17
De’Lance Turner 3 14 4.7 0 6
Robert Griffin III 3 9 3.0 0 5
Mark Thompson 5 9 1.8 0 4
Chris Moore 1 4 4.0 0 4
TEAM 31 113 3.6 0 17


1 2 3 4 T
CHI 7 0 0 9 16
BAL 10 0 7 0 17

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