Ravens fans got a taste of what made Lamar Jackson the most exciting quarterback in college football on Sunday when the rookie led Baltimore to a 24-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in his first start. and garnered rave reviews from his head coach.
"I thought he played spectacular," John Harbaugh said after the game. "I thought he played winning football... For a first-time-out rookie in an environment like that to have all those operational things go well speaks to his intelligence, his studiousness, just his ability to run the show.
"After that, the playmaking, that comes from God."
Jackson completed 13 of 19 passes for 150 yards, no touchdowns and one interception, but what jumped out most from the box score are his rushing stats — 27 carries for 117 yards.
It certainly was not a conventional approach for an NFL offense, but it worked.
First career start W. pic.twitter.com/QNQeSMEbaE— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) November 18, 2018
"I don't believe it's going to take that many carries every week," Harbaugh added. "That's not what we're going to be shooting for, by any stretch. But if it takes that many, we're going to do it.
"He took some hits. I thought that they knew the quarterback was running the ball. They were going after him a little bit, as you would expect. That's something that we've got to look at going forward."
Jackson was somewhat less enthused than Harbaugh, but still expressed satisfaction with his performance.
“We came out with a win," he said. "It was pretty good, I guess."
Jackson, who was spot starting for Joe Flacco (hip), said he did not expect to run the ball that much. He had only carried 27 times or more twice while in college at Louisville.
However, he agreed with his usage, adding: “Whatever it takes to win."
The win moved Baltimore to 5-5 and into the final spot in the AFC playoff picture. Harbaugh indicated Sunday that Flacco will likely miss another week and give his staff and NFL fans everywhere another extended look at Jackson against the Oakland Raiders.
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