The first few games of the preseason did not go so well for Baltimore Ravens rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson. Through those three games, Jackson was 18 of 43 passing (41.8 percent) for just 202 yards, with two touchdowns, one interception and one rushing score.
On Saturday night against the Dolphins, in what was essentially the teams' final tune-up game for the season, Jackson finally broke out. He completed 7 of 10 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown, and also carried three times for 39 yards and an additional score.
After finally getting going through the air, Jackson quipped that he hopes the concerns about his ability to play quarterback have now been put to rest. "I felt a lot [more] comfortable," Jackson said, per the team's official website. "I hope people know I can throw now."
His coach, meanwhile, was impressed by the rookie. "Today was kind of his breakout in a game," John Harbaugh said in his postgame press conference. "He had done some good things in practice, but we hadn't really seen it in a game. Today, it just kind of fell in place for him a bit."
Jackson is going to begin the season as the backup to Joe Flacco and will likely only come into the starting lineup if Flacco either gets injured or performs even worse than he has over the past few years, but it had to be nice for the Ravens to finally see their first-round pick experience real NFL success. It's clear that he's going to take over the job from Flacco at some point, probably by next year, and they have to see him do well against real defenses if they want to be confident in handing him the reins. Saturday night was a good first step in that direction.