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Lamar Jackson faces a 2022 challenge, and maybe a 2023 opportunity, vs. the Dolphins

Mike Florio and Peter King take a rip through Week 2 in the NFL, from whether Lamar Jackson can solve the Dolphins defense to Cooper Rush starting in Dallas and much more.

Last year, the 6-2 Ravens faced the 2-7 Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. It didn’t go well for Baltimore.

Extensively using a cover-zero pre-snap look that entailed blitzing some players and dropping others into coverage, the Dolphins routinely confused and confounded the Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson. Miami won the game, 22-10.

This year, in only the second game of the season, Jackson will get another chance to figure out a defense that stymied him in November. While it’s not solely on him, the quarterback always gets too much credit and too much blame. And even though the Dolphins have had a coaching change, Josh Boyer remains the defensive coordinator -- and most of the players on defense remain. If the Dolphins do it again to Jackson, that won’t help his case for an eventual fully-guaranteed deal.

There’s another potentially fascinating wrinkle to this rematch. The Dolphins are believed to be one of the potential suitors for Jackson, if/when the Ravens decide to abandon any effort to sign him and instead decide to trade him. While it’s unknown what will happen come 2023, Jackson wanting to play for his hometown team -- and his hometown team wanting him -- remains one of the not-implausible outcomes.

On Sunday, then, Jackson gets a chance to show the Ravens that he has figured out how to beat the Dolphins. And he gets a chance to show the Dolphins what he could possibly do for them. If they decide to try to acquire his services after the current season. How Jackson performs against the Dolphins this time around undoubtedly will be a factor.