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Lamar Jackson forced the Ravens to get creative. Here’s how

The Ravens are finding ways to get their rookie QB on the field, and it makes their offense much tougher to defend.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson won’t be stealing the starting quarterback job from Joe Flacco any time soon, but the Ravens are still going to figure out ways to harness the rare playmaking ability that Jackson has. He is just too special with the ball in his hands to not receive a handful of touches per game.

Baltimore tried and failed to run a reverse pass with Jackson

One way to get the ball in the hands of a dynamic playmaker would be to just snap him the ball every play and the offense work from there ... or try to run a reverse with him.

It doesn’t look like this play was intended to be a pass to the right side of the field. The left tackle got blown up by Jerry Hughes and Jackson was forced to reverse field so he could avoid taking a huge loss.

If the left tackle can hold on to his block a bit longer, it might be worth running the play again. Getting the ball into Jackson’s hands in space is never a bad idea, the execution just needs some work.

The Ravens showed off a new option look with Jackson in the game

Baltimore tried sprinkling in a read option look in the first quarter while the game was still close. Jackson probably should’ve handed the ball off here, but Buffalo did a great job of sitting on both the running back and quarterback.

The Ravens did make a bit more difficult on themselves here by splitting Joe Flacco out to wide receiver. That ain’t fooling anyone — it’s a clear signifier of a run play. Hell, he doesn’t even move. That allowed Buffalo to sell out to stop the run. This is a play the Ravens could easily have success with, they just need to do a better job of hiding their plan. Maybe try using a real receiver out there.

Lamar Jackson joined in on the RPO fun

Now that Baltimore has a quarterback with elite mobility and running skills, the Ravens can dip their feet into the RPO game a little more.

Jackson didn’t throw a pass because the numbers weren’t in his favor. Tremaine Edmunds (Bills linebacker, No. 49) was standing right in the way of a potential throw up the seam to the tight end. Jackson couldn’t throw the screen to Willie Snead either because Buffalo had two defenders ready to close in on him.

So Jackson did what he does best and made a nifty move for a short gain.

He only completed one pass, but it was a great throw down the seam

Jackson only completed one of his four passes in his season debut against the Bills. He did have a great throw up the seam to former second-round pick Maxx Williams in the fourth quarter of the game.

Jackson isn’t the most polished passer yet, but he does have enormous upside to grow into one of the games better throwers. The anticipation on this throw is great — as soon as Williams breaks behind the linebacker in zone coverage, the ball is right where it needs to be for Williams to get yards after the catch.


For the first time in years, the Ravens are thinking outside of the box on offense. They have a dynamic talent in Jackson that’s forcing them to come up with creative ways to get him on the field. Whether it’s an option play, a reverse, or an RPO, the Ravens clearly want to keep Jackson involved in their offense.

Jackson didn’t have a huge impact on Sunday in the Ravens 47-3 win over the Buffalo Bills, but he’s bound to break one loose if they keep handing him the ball. For an offense that was starved for big plays last year (32nd in big play rate), they don’t really have a choice.