After a long offseason of speculation and excitement, the Baltimore Ravens kicked off their season in the heat of Miami. With so much uncertainty regarding second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson’s progression as a passer, he quickly silenced the doubters with a historic performance to start his sophomore campaign.
Baltimore was able to display their new offense right away when running back Mark Ingram busted off a 49-yard run on the first play. The opening drive was capped off by a one-yard Ingram touchdown run.
The Ravens big-name free agent acquisitions paid off early as safety Earl Thomas intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick on the Dolphins first drive.
It only took one play for Baltimore to find the end zone again. Jackson hit rookie first-round receiver Marquise ‘‘Hollywood’’ Brown on a quick pass that Hollywood took the length of the field for a 47-yard touchdown on his first career catch.
The Ravens defense forced a punt on Miami’s drive, giving the ball back to Jackson, who connected with Brown again, this time on a perfect deep pass for a 83-yard touchdown. Baltimore led 21-0 in the first quarter.
Following another punt by Miami, Jackson scored yet another touchdown through the air, this time to Willie Snead IV for 33 yards.
The Dolphins finally got on the board with a 54-yard field goal on the next drive and then followed by forcing the first three-and-out for the Ravens of the day. Jakeem Grant muffed the punt, however, and Justin Bethel recovered it, giving Baltimore the ball in the red zone. It took three plays for Jackson to connect to the other rookie receiver, Miles Boykin, for a touchdown.
Following another Miami punt, Ingram found the endzone once again, his second score of the day. Miami put together an 8 play, 75-yard touchdown drive just before halftime courtesy of multiple catches from Preston Williams. However, it was the last time the Dolphins would sniff the endzone the rest of the day.
Baltimore continued to keep their foot on the gas in the third quarter. Jackson threw his fifth touchdown pass of the game, this time to Pat Ricard, to extend the lead to 49-10 before ceding way for Robert Griffin III to enter the game.
Following a field goal by Justin Tucker, cornerback Marlon Humphrey picked off Josh Rosen on just his second throw of the game - the Ravens’ second interception of the game.
A few minutes later, RGIII orchestrated a scoring drive of his own, chewing up 5:30 and gaining 42 yards. Griffin connected with Mark Andrews for a 3-yard score in the redzone, capping off a historic performance from the team’s offense. Griffin completed all six of his attempts for 55 yards in limited action.
From there, the Ravens chewed out the clock and escaped Miami following a monumental performance. On all three levels - offense, defense, special teams - the Ravens impressed and were the far better team.
Now, they’ll return home to face Terrell Suggs, Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals, in what should be at least a bit of a tougher challenge than what they faced in Miami.