Late for Work 9/14: Takeaways From a Dominant Season Opener –

‘Less Flash’ and a More Balanced Offensive Attack

It didn’t include a five-touchdown explosion like last year’s season opener against the Miami Dolphins or a viral highlight that broke the internet.

Nothing about the Ravens’ offensive attack on Sunday was flashy, but it might have been one of the most impressive performances under Jackson to date. 

“What Jackson did was author a commanding performance that showed just how much he has grown and how hard he’s worked to improve his perceived weaknesses,” The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec wrote. “With the Browns limiting the Ravens’ record-setting running game to just 3.6 yards per carry and getting consistent penetration inside, Jackson took over the game with his arm.

“… Flashy? No. Effective? Very much so.”

One of the biggest criticisms from pundits was how the Ravens offense would perform when the ground game isn’t working. On Sunday, the offense didn’t dominate rushing yards (107) or time of possession like they did time after time last season. They didn’t need to, as Jackson did his damage through the air with 275 yards and three touchdowns.

In many ways, pundits believe Jackson looked like an even better passer coming off an MVP season.

“The reigning league Most Valuable Player threw 36 touchdowns against six interceptions last year en route to his MVP season, with a completion percentage of 66 percent,” Press Box’s Bo Smolka wrote. “If possible, his passing game looked even sharper and more precise in this game, as he completed 20 of 25 passes, often feathering throws just beyond the reach of a defender.

“Jackson stressed that he had made deep throws a point of emphasis this offseason, and while he didn’t take many shots downfield, but he hit Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown in stride with a 47-yard strike for his longest completion of the day.”