Lamar Jackson certainly looked like a quarterback against the Miami Dolphins. The Baltimore Ravens franchise quarterback had one of the best performances for a 22-year old quarterback, possibly ever, finishing 17-of-20 for 324 yards and five touchdowns for a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
"Not bad for a running back," Jackson said with a smile when a reporter asked him about his willingness to throw the ball this offseason.
Jackson became the second quarterback in franchise history with 300 yards and five touchdowns in a game (Joe Flacco was the other) as the Ravens set franchise records for points (59), yards (643), and margin of victory (49) in a 59-10 win over the Miami Dolphins. He was the first player with at least five passing touchdowns in a season opener since Peyton Manning (2013).
The Ravens quarterback was highly criticized through the pre-draft process as the former Heisman Trophy winner wanted to play quarterback at the NFL level. Former Indianapolis Colts general manager Bill Polian was Jackson's harshest critic.
"[He's] short and a little bit slight, and clearly, clearly not the thrower that the other guys are," Polian said on ESPN's Golic and Wingo in February of 2018 (via Bleacher Report). "The accuracy isn't there. So I would say don't wait to make that change [to wide receiver]."
The running back criticism comes from Jackson's rookie season, which he had 695 rushing yards and five touchdowns while completing 58.2 percent of his passes for six touchdowns. Through Sunday's games, Jackson leads the NFL in touchdown passes, interception percentage, yards per attempt, adjusted yards per attempt, quarterback rating and net yards gained per pass attempt.
Not bad for a running back.
"The offensive line did a great job. I barely had pressure," Jackson said. "Receivers did a great job of getting open, catching the ball, scoring touchdowns. That's what it's all about."