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The Ravens scored 59 points last week in Miami — and they still think there’s room for improvement

The Ravens scored 59 points last week in Miami — and they still think there’s room for improvement

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens spent all offseason hoping no one knew about their offense. 

It took just one game for the secret to get out. 

After a 59-10 drubbing of the Dolphins, where multiple team and individual records were set, the NFL has taken notice. Lamar Jackson was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week and had his MVP odds skyrocket from 50-1 to 18-1. 

There’s been national attention cast upon the Ravens, something didn’t seem likely this early just a few weeks ago. Now, they’ll try for an encore performance against the Cardinals. 

“You make your biggest improvement, generally, we always say, between the first and second anything,” coach John Harbaugh said. “In this case, between the first and second game, we expect to make our biggest improvement that way, operationally. We’ll really strive for that and work hard for that this week.”

The biggest adjustment the Ravens can expect to make, though, is in how defenses adjust to their offense. 

Miami was worried about Jackson’s speed as a runner, which led to dropbacks with little to no pressure on Jackson. With his newfound time, he tore the Miami secondary apart. 

Jackson finished 17-of-20 for 324 yards with five touchdowns and a perfect passer rating. The five touchdowns tied a team record and his perfect passer rating was the first in Ravens history.

Now, the evolving nature of the Ravens offense will be about how defenses will attack Jackson. It likely won’t involve letting him throw over the top anymore.

“They’ll (the Cardinals) probably leave one or two safeties back more often than the Dolphins did, now that they’ve seen that Lamar can hurt you when you do that,” Harbaugh said. 

Jackson, who only rushed for six yards on three carries last Sunday, still has the ability to burn teams with his legs or with his arm. It’s in that dilemma that the Ravens can exploit other teams.

“It’s a pick your poison type of thing,” tight end Mark Andrew said. “What he’s able to do with his feet, his arm, he’s a complete quarterback. It’s tough on defenses to pick. You want to put guys deep, he’s going to make you pay with his feet. You play man like last week, he’s going to make you pay with his arm.”

Andrews caught all eight of his targets for 108 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins. He was one of two receivers (the other was Marquise Brown) that had more than 100 yards receiving and one of five different receivers that caught a touchdown pass.

For an offense with a lot of questions entering the season, the Ravens did their best to answer everything they could.

“We’ve said it all along, that we weren’t showing anything and this offense was different was most anything that’s run in the NFL right now,” Andrews said. “I think it was a little bit of validation. We’ve got a long way to go, we’re not there yet, but we’ve got a lot of great stuff in. We’re going to continue to put that in and show that week-to-week.”

With growing attention on the offense and its quarterback, there will only be mounting pressure and questions.

In just a week, the Ravens offense went from a mystery to an offense led by an early MVP candidate. Jackson said he tries not to focus on that, though.

“I don’t really listen to stuff like that,” he said. “Just a week prior to that, they were just saying ‘running back.’”

But with an offense that now has the attention of everyone in the NFL, the questions will only multiply. And for now, the big question is not what the Ravens offense can be, but what it can do for an encore.

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Earl Thomas' daughter was the toughest reporter at the Pro Bowl

Earl Thomas' daughter was the toughest reporter at the Pro Bowl

Earl Thomas' daughter Kaleigh is many things. She's seven years old, has sick dance moves, and now we can add another accomplishment to that list: a hard-hitting reporter.

During the Pro Bowl, Kaleigh asked some of the NFL's stars some of the toughest questions they'd faced all weekend.

She asked Russell Wilson and Andre Roberts why they both liked football so much, Shaquill Griffin if he had any personal hobbies, and grilled Drew Brees on who is best friend in the league was.

She also interviewed her father and specifically asked if he was getting old. "I'm not getting old, I'm still playing at a high level," he noted. "Do you think daddy's getting old?"

"I think my dad's getting old, so we'll skip that question," Kaleigh said.

This is the intrepid reporting we needed during the Pro Bowl, and Kaleigh is getting after it.

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WATCH: Justin Tucker drills 70-yard field goal at Pro Bowl practice

WATCH: Justin Tucker drills 70-yard field goal at Pro Bowl practice

Justin Tucker is the most accurate kicker in NFL history, but at Pro Bowl practice Friday he decided to show off his ridiculous range by drilling a 70-yard field goal with relative ease. 

Hitting 70-yard field goals in practice isn't anything new. He spent time in the offseason drilling kicks from the same distance.

There just wasn't any need for Tucker to kick a record-breaking field goal because the Ravens offense was seemingly always in the red zone. Tucker attempted 59 extra points this year, which was the most he'd ever taken in a season by 17 and led the league by a wide margin. 

Tucker's current career-long is the 61-yard bomb he hit in 2013. His longest field goal in 2019 was 51 yards. 

In a game like the Pro Bowl, field position and the final result doesn't really matter. So maybe Tucker will get a chance to kick from 70-plus during the game on Sunday. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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