Lamar Jackson was incensed coming off the field at the end of the third quarter.
His most reliable offensive weapon, Mark Andrews, had just dropped two passes, and Jackson’s rush on third down only left the Ravens with fourth and two. So coach John Harbaugh asked his quarterback if he wanted to go for it on 4th down. The answer was a definitive yes.
The offense trotted back onto the field and Jackson scored a touchdown on the ensuing conversion as the Ravens, from that fourth down on, ended the game on a 17-3 run to pull out a 30-16 victory against the Seahawks in Seattle.
“I decided to stay with the field goal, play it safe a little bit,” coach John Harbaugh explained. “He came off, you could just see it in his face. I asked him, ‘You want to go for it?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, I wanna go for it.’ I was told that Marshal (Yanda) said, ‘If he wants to go for it, I want to go for it.’ I felt the same way. If he wants to go for it, I want to go for it, too.”
Jackson’s run on a quarterback power — and his confidence in the decision — inspired the rest of the team.
"I was just charged up,” Jackson said. “I was tired of not scoring."
But while the fourth down was where the game turned on its head, Baltimore’s next drive was its most impressive of the afternoon.
The Ravens, more specifically Jackson, drove 96 yards down the field on 13 plays and used nine minutes of game clock as a Justin Tucker field goal put the the team ahead by 10.
“He’s a competitor,” Harbaugh said. “This guy is a competitor of the Nth degree. I don’t know how to describe what a competitor Lamar Jackson is. He wants to win at everything all the time. We feed off that, he carries that. I think that’s who we are as a team, I think that’s why he fits us so well.”
On the following Seattle drive, Marlon Humphrey picked up a fumble and ran it back for a touchdown to put an exclamation point on the Ravens’ biggest win of the season.
The Ravens defense played its best game of the season against the MVP favorite through six weeks of the season.
Still, the story of the game was Jackson and his ability to seemingly drag the Ravens offense down the field by himself for first downs.
“People just don’t really want to give Lamar the respect he deserves,” Humphrey said. “But what I saw today, I felt like football is a game of a lot of aggression, a lot of emotions. We had the little snap count infraction with our center, when I saw Lamar...I felt like from there, it was something different that came out of Lamar. That’s a quarterback I really like to see.”
Jackson finished with 116 yards rushing on 14 carries and 143 yards through the air. But while his passing numbers weren’t eye-popping, his runs were what extended the game and gave the Ravens a chance to win.
In just his 15th career start, Jackson is rapidly growing into the quarterback the Ravens hoped they were getting they drafted him in 2018. And through seven games this year he’s on pace to place fifth all-time in total offense, with a projected 5,088 total yards.
Jackson went into perhaps the toughest venue in the NFL and escaped with a convincing victory, a win in which no one will dispute who was the best player on the field.
He’s also just 22-years old.
“We have yet to see the best of Lamar Jackson,” Peters said. “I don’t know how to stop him.”
MORE RAVENS NEWS: