Lamar Jackson delivered his most impressive performance of the preseason, showing his arm can be as dangerous as his legs.
In the Baltimore Ravens' 27-10 road win over the Miami Dolphins, Jackson was on target consistently Saturday night, going 7-of-10 for 98 yards and a touchdown. The rookie first-round pick then delivered a pinpoint shot at critics.
"I hope people know I can throw now, even though I had a low percentage," Jackson told WBAL-TV while walking off the field. "But it's all good. We had fun and came out with a win."
In his first three preseason games, Jackson had completed 41.9 percent of his passes (18-of-43), which was the lowest among all qualifying quarterbacks (those with at least 14 pass attempts per game this preseason). During training camp, Jackson has had trouble throwing outside the numbers and has had some passes wobble.
Entering the game at the start of the second half Saturday night, Jackson took what the defense gave him instead of trying to force passes. After running for a 19-yard touchdown, Jackson capped the next drive by hitting DeVier Posey in stride for a 21-yard TD. In five drives, Jackson finished with 137 yards of total offense and a 134.6 passer rating (out of a possible 158.3).
"I think today was his breaking out in a game," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We've seen it in practice, where he's done some really good things. We hadn't really seen it in a game yet. Today just kind of fell in place for him a little bit."
Jackson's best decision came three plays before his touchdown pass. Rolling to his right, Jackson had a clear lane ahead of him but instead threw to Tim White for a 33-yard completion.
"A lot of people doubt me on that," Jackson said. "They always say I'm quick to run when I'm outside the pocket. As you can see, that [pass] can happen sometimes."
This was a homecoming game for Jackson. He grew up in Pompano Beach, Florida, which is 24 miles from Hard Rock Stadium.
Leading up to this game, Ravens quarterbacks coach James Urban was in Jackson's ear about completing more passes. Jackson also wanted to warm up better than he did before his previous preseason game, in which he failed to complete his first four passes.
On Saturday night, Jackson had a different routine before entering the game at the start of the second half. He was told to complete 10 passes before going into halftime and 10 passes after halftime.
After his first pass fell incomplete against the Dolphins, Jackson said he thought to himself, "I can't have the same results."
"That was the key thing coming into this week, was completing passes and getting my percentage up," he said.
The Ravens will have one more preseason game before they have to determine whether to carry three quarterbacks for the first time since 2009.
Robert Griffin III, who received Saturday's start after Baltimore decided not to play Joe Flacco, was solid in Miami behind a banged-up offensive line. He was 9-of-15 for 66 yards and ran for 41 yards on five scrambles.
Griffin will try to get off the roster bubble Thursday, when he faces the Washington Redskins at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium. The Redskins drafted Griffin No. 2 overall in 2012.
"There will probably be a storyline around that," Griffin said of the Redskins. "But aside from that, it's just continue to do what we've been doing and let the coaches make the decision at the end of the day."