Ravens plans to start Lamar Jackson vs. Falcons on Sunday


The rookie sensation, Lamar Jackson, will have a chance to lead Baltimore to a third straight win.

The Ravens plan to start Jackson against the Falcons on Sunday, said Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network via informed sources on the situation.

That does not necessarily mean, however, that the technical team is prepared to hand over reigns to Jackson for the rest of the season.

Still with hip problems, veteran Joe Flacco has not yet been released for the game. There is a chance that Flacco's status may change in the coming days, Garafolo added, but Jackson remains the choice for now.

In contrast to a heavy attack that had receded over the first two months of the season, the Ravens suddenly discovered an identity as a multifaceted offensive led by a pair of newcomers in Jackson and sent back Gus Edwards.

After averaging just 92.7 yards in nine games with Flacco below center, Baltimore went over Cincinnati and Oakland with an average of 254.5 yards on the ground.

While the Hunters' defenses and the Bengalis decimated by injuries have reached pushover status lately, the sleigh does not get any harder for Jackson and Edwards. The next two opponents – Atlanta and Kansas City – are 31st and 32nd, respectively, by Football Outsiders' race defense metrics.

Jackson's passing ability remains unusually crude, as expected, with simpler readings and a drop by risky pitches. As a crafty baseball pitcher trying to fool opponents with a wide variety of pitching moves, Jackson showed the ability to adjust his own delivery by mixing side-arm darts with overhand rainbows depending on the situation. After finding Mark Andrews for a 74-yard gain early last week, he hit speedster John Brown on the sideline for another great play that was nullified by a penalty.

Offensive coaches Ravens, Marty Mornhinweg and Greg Roman, understand they can not fall into a predictable one-dimensional offense, depending too much on Jackson's legs. It will be interesting to see what kind of passes they prepare for this week's match in Atlanta.

If Jackson continues to show improvement in the passing game while leading the Ravens for a third consecutive win, it will be difficult to return to Flacco in a fierce AFC 6th round.


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