BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- "It all falls on Lamar." Those are the words of Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti in a conference call with season ticket holders prior to the 2019 season.
The words left no doubt about whom the franchise most relies on for its potential success. It all falls on Lamar...and so far, he's adeptly carrying that responsibility.
The Ravens have opened the 2019 season against two sub-standard opponents that the Ravens were expected to defeat and indeed they won both games. Bigger than the assumed victories is the play of Lamar Jackson in those games. He had a perfect quarterback rating while throwing for five touchdowns in a blowout win at Miami.
Then in a closer than expected win against Arizona, Jackson did it all with 272 passing yards and 120 rushing yards. No quarterback in NFL history has ever passed and thrown for that many yards in the same game.
The reaction from his teammates?
"He's a real QB," said Mark Ingram.
"I will not compare anybody to Lamar, " said Matt Judon.
Quarterbacks are the centerpiece of every NFL team. Fortunes rise and fall on their performances. The Ravens were viewed as risk-takers when they traded up into the first round of the draft in 2018 to select Lamar Jackson to be their quarterback of the future.
Jackson's rookie season previewed aspects of his dynamic ability that he's now honed closer to perfection. And he's really just getting started. It all falls on Lamar and the Ravens are on the rise with his ability to carry the load.
I saw the Ravens as a playoff team before the season started. Jackson could provide the lift that takes them from playoff team to Super Bowl team. Again, it's still early in a long season and the real test of tougher opposition is upcoming (starting Sunday at Kansas City), but the early indications are promising for the Ravens and their quarterback.
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