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Lamar Jackson shines on the ground and through the air in win over the Cardinals

Lamar Jackson shines on the ground and through the air in win over the Cardinals

BALTIMORE — Lamar Jackson saved his best for last. 

With the Ravens facing a 3rd and 11 at their own 44-yard line and 3:05 remaining in the game, they dialed up a pass play. It ended up Jackson’s longest pass of the day. 

Wide receiver Marquise Brown had man-to-man coverage down the right sideline and caught a perfectly placed ball from Jackson for a 41-yard gain. 

The Ravens ran for a first down to ice the clock from there, as Jackson finished with 272 yards —the second-highest total in his career — in a 23-17 win over the Cardinals Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. 

“He couldn’t have thrown it any better than that,” Brown said of the third-down conversion. “He put it in a great spot, and all I had to do, like I said, was hold my line.”

Jackson’s afternoon passing the ball wasn’t the only storyline, however.

He also rushed for a career-high 120 yards on 16 carries, leading the Ravens in both rushing and passing. 

Still, he found critique with his performance on a day he carried the Ravens from start to finish. 

“I feel like it was alright,” Jackson said. “Came out, executed some things. Could have been better. There’s a lot of passes I want back, some sacks I want back, but we came out with the victory.”

Jackson may not have impressed himself, but he impressed everyone else. He was the first player in NFL history to throw for over 270 yards and rush for 120 in the same game.

Jackson was breaking records — and he still thought he was off. Only no one else did. 

“He plays with feet, more than most quarterbacks,” Cardinals linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “It was good to see how much he has grown from last year. He’s an NFL quarterback now, and he’s phenomenal.”

Suggs, making his homecoming, couldn’t get a hold of Jackson, making three combined tackles. He had zero sacks. 

His prowess in the pocket kept Miami off-guard last week, and his elusiveness in the pocket kept Arizona off-guard this week. He was involved in 392 of the Ravens' 440 yards of total offense against the Cardinals. 

That’s what makes him one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in football. 

“It’s going to be a real conundrum for them,” coach John Harbaugh described of opponents planning for Jackson’s dual-threat ability. “It’s going to be a real challenge for them to figure that out. They’re going to have to figure it out for themselves. But this league has a lot of smart people and a lot of great players.”

Jackson has made a living with his tight ends through the first two games of the season, specifically with Andrews, who finished with eight receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals. He threw to Andrews consistently, so much so that Andrews became the first Raven since 2016 to post back-to-back 100 yard games. 

The two’s connection has been a steadying presence for the offense, something the team has been able to rely on for key third and fourth down situations. 

“I tell Mark all the time, ‘We’re going to play street ball,'” Jackson said. “And that’s what the case is. It was kind of like street ball, but everyone wants to win.”

Street ball or not, Jackson has developed a rapport with Andrews that’s been a link neither the Dolphins nor Cardinals could figure out. 

“The ferocious attitude that Mark is playing with, that’s a good quote right there, very descriptive,” Harbaugh said. “(Had) huge third-down conversions, third-and-longs a couple times if I recall right. Lamar made some great throws...but boy, Mark has a feel for the passing game.”

Of Jackson’s 37 pass attempts, Andrews was targeted on nine of them. 

The other significant number of targets went to Brown, who ended up with eight catches on 13 targets. He totaled 86 yards, including the 41-yard reception at the end of the game. But when his favorite targets aren’t there, Jackson can run off-script for game-changing plays.

“You all watched Lamar make great throws all day from the pocket,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “So, he has improved dramatically there. You’ve got to tip your hat to him. He is standing there and can throw it, and can beat you that way and with his legs. That’s a very good offense.”

In the last two weeks, Jackson has showcased his ability as a thrower and a passer. He was the AFC Offensive Player of the Week last week thanks to his arm, and today he carried the Ravens to victory with both his arm and legs. 

He might not have thought he played his best game, but the issue for opposing defenses now is figuring out which poison to take when it comes to Jackson’s dual-threat abilities. 

“I think for me, it his his composure right down to the end of the game,” right guard Marshal Yanda said. “It was not pretty at times, but we just kept at it, and in the fourth quarter he made the big play.”

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The internet had some fun with Tom Brady's golf struggles

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USA Today Sports Images

The internet had some fun with Tom Brady's golf struggles

On the football field, there is no denying that Tom Brady is one of the best to ever do it. On the golf course, it is a much different story, at least on Sunday.

Participating in 'The Match', a charity golf round that also featured Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Peyton Manning, Brady had some struggles with his golf swing. A few errant shots off the tee coupled with other less-successful moments made Brady look rather human on the green.

Though he is an all-time great at the quarterback position, he looked like every other struggling casual golfer who can't seem to get things right out there. Having those rough swings play out before a national audience, the internet, of course, had some fun Brady's expense.

His opponents and friends from the NFL world also had to chime in. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton now has the unfortunate luck of having to face off against Brady two times in 2020 after the quarterback made the move to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, if Brady performs the way he has on the golf course, maybe Payton will feel a little better.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson also threw a jab at Brady, asking if he wanted to try his luck against some less-talented golfers.

Of course, Brady did rebound and show that he can stroke the ball when he needs to. 

It's not very often that the internet can joke about Tom Brady failing at something, so it's no surprise that plenty of people got their jokes in on Sunday.

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Marlon Humphrey on Lamar Jackson: ‘He’s probably one of the most humble guys I’ve been around’

Marlon Humphrey on Lamar Jackson: ‘He’s probably one of the most humble guys I’ve been around’

Marlon Humphrey’s concerns about the NFL’s limited offseason are the same as everyone else’s: That the lack of an offseason program limits the growth a team can have together. 

He knows that because of the growth he saw from Lamar Jackson just a year ago.

Humphrey was a guest on an episode of ‘Late Night with Locks’ with Maryland head coach Mike Locksley on Friday night, where he talked about Jackson’s MVP season last year. 

“Lamar, man, I was just telling somebody the other day, the jump he made from OTAs to training camp last year, it was a crazy jump,” Humphrey recalled. “The stuff he does in a game, I’m just happy that’s in a game and I don’t have to guard that. He does some crazy stuff.”

He, like everyone else on the Ravens’ defense, saw firsthand Jackson’s growth from year-to-year. And he was one of the few people in the league who didn’t have to worry about Jackson in a game.

“There’s been a lot of times, in the NFL, you’re not truly thudding somebody all the time in practice,” Humphrey said. “There’s a lot of people that say they tackled Lamar and different things, but deep down, we all know that was not going to be a tackle in a game.”

But what stuck out to Humphrey most was Jackson’s off-the-field persona.

“I think the biggest thing Lamar does is just the way he goes about being in the building, being with his teammates,” Humphrey said. “Any time Lamar shows up to any event we invite him to, we all know everyone is going to go crazy for Lamar and he’s not going to be able to enjoy himself or anything. But he’s so humble enough to support his teammates when we have our different events here and there.”

He recalled a story where he, Tim Williams and Jaylen Hill were out to dinner immediately after joining the Ravens. They mentioned to the waitress that they played for the Ravens, and she didn’t believe him. 

Humphrey later said with a grin that not everyone in the city of Baltimore, even Ravens fans, can tell all the players apart sometimes.

“They don’t really know all the players, but they know they love the Ravens,” Humphrey said. “If you’re not Lamar Jackson, they don’t really know who you are ... but they really love the Ravens. When you say you play for the Ravens, they’re your best friend.”

Now, as Jackson and the Ravens have their sights set on a Super Bowl in the young quarterback’s second season as the starting quarterback, Humphrey is anxious to see, like everyone else, how Jackson grows even more.

“Last year, he tried to learn everybody’s name in the whole building,” Humphrey said. “That’s stuff that doesn’t get seen. He’s probably one of the most humble guys I’ve been around. It reminds me of a Jalen Hurts, just more energetic. I just can’t wait to see how he grows.”

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