We’ve been telling you for some time now— Lamar Jackson is not just a running man. He can throw the football, and the thin air of Denver seemed to inspire him.
Jackson missed two practices last week with a sore back, but it didn’t look as if it affected him at all Sunday.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “Did I look good?”
Although he was held to 28 yards rushing, Jackson threw for 316 yards.
“We wanted to limit his opportunities to carry it and scramble,” Broncos coach Vic Fangio said. “We did that. But they were able to complete the long passes, which negated that.”
Only twice in his four-year NFL career has Jackson passed for more yards, once in the regular season (324) and once in the playoffs (365).
“I can’t believe people say he couldn’t throw. It’s wild, barbaric,” suggested Ravens receiver James Proche II. “That’s like saying water is dry. He’s just doing his job, nothing crazy, just doing what he do.”
Justin Tucker, who beat the Lions last week with an NFL-record long 66-yard field goal, was perfect from 40, 46 and 20 yards in Denver’s thin air.
The Broncos (3-1) punted on 10 of their 12 possessions after punting just nine times total in their three wins. They lost starting QB Teddy Bridgewater to a concussion on his final pass of the first half.
Ravens rookie linebacker Odafe Oweh hit Bridgewater under the chin but wasn’t flagged.
The injuries occurred during a series of curious calls by Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who had Bridgewater throw three times after Denver got the ball at its 17 with 1:02 left in the first half and Denver down 14-7.
All three throws fell incomplete — Bridgewater completed just 7 of 16 passes after posting 75% days in each of Denver’s three wins — and the Broncos punted the ball back to Baltimore with Tucker warming up on the sideline.
Devin Duvernay‘s 42-yard return set up Tucker for an easy 40-yarder as the first half expired, giving the Ravens a 17-7 halftime lead.
Fant’s TD was set up by rookie Javonte Williams‘ 31-yard run in which he broke five tackles before cornerback Marlon Humphrey finally knocked him down. Williams led the nation in broken tackles last year at North Carolina.
The Ravens had five sacks and middle linebacker Tyus Bowser sacked both Bridgewater and Lock. Broncos rookie safety Caden Sterns had two of Denver’s three sacks. Von Miller, the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Month in September, shared the other sack with McTelvin Agim.
Miller noted the difficulty of facing Jackson and his big-play passing abilities combined with the Ravens’ exotic run packages.
“It’d be refreshing just to play normal football again,” Miller said.
Ravens RT Alejandro Villanueva hobbled off in the third quarter with a knee injury. His replacement, Andre Smith, was flagged for a face mask away from the play that negated TE Mark Andrews‘ 30-yard TD reception. Bridgewater is the eighth starter to get hurt for the Broncos. The medical staff also was working on rookie CB Patrick Surtain II’s upper ribcage in the closing minutes.
|Passing 1st downs||14||9|
|Rushing 1st downs||6||5|
|1st downs from penalties||0||1|
|3rd down efficiency||7-17||3-14|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||0-0|
|Yards per Play||5.8||4.3|
|Yards per pass||7.6||3.5|
|Yards per rush||3.4||6.2|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-3||1-2|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|