Were you underwhelmed by Lamar Jackson’s Week 1 performance? You aren’t alone.
Lamar Jackson took to X to lament a “rusty” performance in Baltimore’s 25-9 win over the Texans. Despite the easy victory, Jackson didn’t resemble his 2019 MVP form in going 17-of-22 for 169 yards, an interception and a lost fumble.
His first drive ended with a sack and the second with an interception as he looked uncomfortable against Houston’s pass rush.
Texans first-round pick (third overall) Will Anderson recorded his first NFL sack in the third quarter, minutes before Jackson connected with wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on arguably his best throw of the day.
While Baltimore didn’t have much to worry about against Houston, it can’t afford many lackluster performances from Jackson if it wants to make it back to the postseason.
The Ravens will only go as far as Jackson leads them, and he became even more valuable after running back J.K. Dobbins (Achilles) was lost for the season during Sunday’s game.
Jackson’s performance, despite being disappointing, shouldn’t raise too many concerns. It was his first appearance since Week 13 of last season and first under offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who took over for Greg Roman this offseason.
Jackson was also without All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews (quad), while working with Beckham and rookie Zay Flowers in a regular season game for the first time.
As the unit gels, the greater the likelihood it will move the ball more efficiently than it did against Houston.
Jackson also wasn’t alone in a rough start to his season. In fact, every quarterback in the AFC North looked far from their peak form.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was 14-of-31 for 82 yards in a 24-3 loss to the Browns. Cleveland quarterback DeShaun Watson was 16-of-29 for 154 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the victory.
In Pittsburgh, Kenny Pickett was 31-of-46 for 232 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in a 30-7 blowout loss to the 49ers.