Ravens QB Jackson dazzles with juke-filled TD

Ravens QB Jackson dazzles with juke-filled TD

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BALTIMORE — Lamar Jackson took a step forward in his development for the Baltimore Ravens — and he made a couple defenders look foolish in the process.

In his second preseason appearance, Jackson delivered a highlight-reel, 9-yard touchdown run in a 33-7 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night.

“They tried to get to me, and I made a guy miss,” said Jackson, the No. 32 overall pick in this year’s draft. “Then I did what I do best and tried to get in the end zone.”

With the pocket collapsing, Jackson used a stutter-step to elude defensive tackle Tanzel Smart, who dropped to his knee after being faked out. Jackson then cut back at the 4-yard line to avoid cornerback Troy Hill and reach the end zone.

“It was a great run,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I thought he was tackled twice, and then he wasn’t. So, that was good. You can always appreciate that if he’s on your team.”

Jackson looked more comfortable than his NFL debut a week earlier, leading Baltimore to scores on half of his eight drives. The former Heisman Trophy winner still needs to be more consistent with his throws. He completed 7 of 18 passes (39 percent) for 119 yards.

“I feel like I did better, but I didn’t throw a touchdown this game, so I’m kind of ticked off,” Jackson said. “I’m going to have to throw one next week. I want to do that bad.”

The Ravens put Jackson in a better situation than last week’s Hall of Fame game, where he played the second half with reserves. On Thursday, Jackson replaced Joe Flacco after the opening series and played behind the starting offensive line.

Given better protection, Jackson threw deep on his first attempt of the game, connecting with Chris Moore on a 36-yard pass.

“That was the thing I was trying to concentrate on this week,” Jackson said. “I was just trying to be a better passer in the pocket.”

Jackson still made some missteps that rookie quarterbacks often do. The Ravens had to call two timeouts because the play clock was running low. Jackson also took a sack that pushed Baltimore out of field-goal range.

“He does seem posed for a rookie,” Harbaugh said. “Even on the sideline, he may not know everything … but he comes off the field and knows exactly what he did. I think he’s really going to continue to blossom for that reason. He handles situations very well.”

In his 2018 preseason debut, Flacco completed 5 of 7 passes for 71 yards and threw a six-yard touchdown pass to fullback Patrick Ricard in his only series of work.

“I think once the regular season starts, this isn’t going to mean anything,” said Flacco, who missed all of the preseason last year because of a back injury. “But what it does for our confidence as a group, our confidence as a team, that will carry us pretty far into the season.”

NFL News

via http://www.espn.com – NFL http://www.espn.com

August 9, 2018 at 09:57PM

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