One of the biggest storylines of the offseason has been the uncertain future of Lamar Jackson. The former MVP has failed to reach a long-term contract with the Ravens and clearly is sick of talking about it. He has shifted his focus to the playing field and secured a convincing opening Week win over the Jets by a score of 24-9. It was a convincing win for the team and Jackson played a key role in leading them to victory. The Ravens will now shift their focus to making their home debut against the Miami Dolphins where they will look to continue asserting themselves. Here are three bold predictions for the star quarterback in the Week 2 matchup.
3. No Turnovers
It was an overall solid opening week performance for Lamar Jackson. He completed 17 of his 30 pass attempts for 213 yards and three touchdowns. He also added six rush attempts for 17 yards. The 25-year-old pushed the team out to an early lead and it was smooth sailing from there. He also was asked to play in a fairly simplified role by the end of the game as the focus shifted to eating clock rather than seeking out more points. The blemish on Jackson’s performance was the interception and allowing himself to get sacked twice.
Look for the Louisville product to be more focused on his ball security in Week 2 and to escape without a turnover. The Jets have quietly put together an impressive defense and showed this in the opening week. The Miami Dolphins should be an easier matchup for Jackson and expect him to deliver by avoiding any turnovers.
2. 70+ rushing yards
While Lamar Jackson’s ability with his arm is underappreciated, it is his legs that make him so special. In Week 1, the Ravens did not use this asset nearly often enough. The six carries for 17 yards are far too few for a player who has eclipsed 1000 yards rushing yards in a season twice in his career already. Look for the Ravens to make it a point to give him more opportunities and for Jackson to capitalize. Last season when the Ravens and Dolphins faced off, Jackson ran the ball nine times for 39 yards. Expect the two-time Pro Bowler to eclipse this number as well and tally over 70 rushing yards in Week 2.
Running for 70 rushing yards is a mark he has surpassed 24 times so far in his career. While dual-threat quarterbacks have become increasingly common in the NFL, Jackson has a real argument for being the best of any on the ground. The Ravens quarterback will be looking to make a statement as he faces off with the team that he has flirted with joining on Twitter. As Lamar Jackson continues his statement tour this season, expect him to utilize his legs and continue to prove himself as the superstar player he is.
1. 4+ total touchdowns
The three touchdowns that Lamar Jackson tallied in Week 1 were impressive considering the solid Jets defense. With an opportunity against the Dolphins, expect him to produce some more points. The Ravens also took their foot off the gas in the Week 1 matchup as they jumped out to a 24-3 lead heading into the fourth quarter which limited his potential touchdown output. Whether the Dolphins can make it a closer game is to be determined, but expect Jackson to produce more points regardless. His ability with his legs and arms is special and will open the door for him to get into the end zone.
The Miami Dolphins are coming off a strong performance in Week 1 where they beat the Patriots 20-7. This victory also included a defensive touchdown, an interception, and a forced fumble. Expect them to come back to reality slightly as they travel to Baltimore for the matchup.
Count on him to tally four or more touchdowns in the matchup between his arm and his legs. His 21 career rushing touchdowns are an impressive mark and he is a red zone threat for opposing teams. Mark Andrews is also a name to watch as he was held without a touchdown in Week 1 despite being the Ravens’ number one target. Look for Jackson to target the tight end in the Week 2 matchup.
While the Ravens vs Dolphins matchup may not be one that carries major expectations around the NFL, this will be one that is meaningful to Lamar Jackson. The Florida native will have his sights set on facing off with his local team as he continues his quest for a massive contract. Look for this to be a statement game for the quarterback and for him to play to the best of his abilities in this matchup.