Lamar Jackson did not get off to the greatest start in Baltimore's thrilling 36-35 win on Sunday night against the Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium, but when it mattered most he dazzled.
The 2019 unanimous MVP finished with 239 yards and a touchdown on 18-for-26 through the air and rushed for another 107 yards, including the game-clinching quarterback sneak, and two TDs on 16 carries.
Jackson started rough with a pick-six on the first Ravens possession, but it was all uphill from there. Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu returned his errant first-quarter throw the other way for 34 yards in the first minute of the game.
Another interception preceded Jackson's first big highlight-reel play of the game. Touchdowns from Devin Duvernay and running back Latavius Murray helped keep Baltimore within shouting distance of the high-flying Kansas City offense.
But almost halfway through the third quarter and trailing 28-17, Jackson felt some pressure and instinctively somehow found Marquise "Hollywood" Brown uncovered and all alone with a jump pass that set NFL Twitter ablaze.
Next, Jackson continued to keep his team in it. Trailing 35-24 at the beginning of the fourth, Jackson faked the handoff and patiently got to the pylon at the front corner of the end zone to make it a five-point game.
Then, the game-winner was executed in a style only Jackson could pull off. A perfect fake handoff and beautiful blocking helped set up a nice roll out to Jackson's right and a flip into the end zone all by himself proved to be the eventual decider.
Finally, after first-round draft pick Odafe Oweh's forced a fumble with the Chiefs driving for a winning field goal, the Ravens were in jeopardy of going three and out and giving the ball right back. Jackson had another plan.
Baltimore's No. 8 sealed the victory with a gutsy fourth-and-1 conversion on a successful quarterback sneak.
In the immediate postgame interview with NBC sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, Jackson was adamant the Ravens needed to make sure Mahomes didn't get a chance to come back on the field.
"No matter what, coach asks me and coach asks me should we go for it," Jackson said. "And I said, 'Hell yeah."