Ravens' Lamar Jackson resumes MVP form in season opener

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson didn't simply return to NFL MVP form. He was actually better, at least in accomplishing his biggest offseason goal.

Jackson stretched the field unlike any time before in Sunday's dominating, 38-6 season-opening win over the Cleveland Browns.

He was 9-of-10 for 180 yards on throws of 10 yards or more downfield, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to Willie Snead (which traveled 18 yards in the air). That's the most such completions in a game in Jackson's career.

Last season, Jackson completed just 49.2% of passes over 10 yards, which ranked 19th in the NFL.

Jackson wasn't as flawless as last year's season opener, when he recorded a perfect 158.3 passer rating. But he was certainly close. Jackson completed 20 of 25 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns for a 152.1 rating.

But much like last year's opener, Jackson was unstoppable. He moved the Ravens 99 yards to the end zone in 10 plays, and he then marched Baltimore 69 yards in 35 seconds for another score.

This continues a successful run. Jackson became the 11th reigning league MVP to throw for three or more TDs in a season opener.

Jackson has nine career games with three or more touchdown passes, which is tied for third-most at age of 23. He'll play the entire 2020 season at age 23. He has certainly put himself among elite company. Dan Marino has the most with 13, and Patrick Mahomes ranks second with 12.

Describe the game in two words: Another blowout. This marks the third straight season in which the Ravens won a season opener by more than 30 points. Baltimore roughed up the Buffalo Bills, 47-3, in 2018 and then routed the Miami Dolphins, 59-10, in last year’s opener. The Ravens are now 10-3 in Week 1 games under coach John Harbaugh, and the Browns are 0-12-1 over that same span in openers.

Promising trend: Immediate rookie impacts. First-round pick Patrick Queen led the Ravens with eight tackles, recording his first forced fumble and sack. Baltimore showed some holes in the run defense, allowing 138 yards on the ground. But Queen showed flashes of being a playmaker. Second-rounder J.K. Dobbins certainly made the most of his carries. He scored two touchdowns on seven carries.

Eye-popping stat: Jackson led the second-ever 99-yard touchdown drive in franchise history. The other one occurred 22 years ago to the day, when Baltimore drove the length of the field against the New York Jets. Jim Harbaugh, John's brother, was the starting quarterback for the Ravens in that game, but Eric Zeier quarterbacked that drive.