Once again, Jackson threw for multiple touchdowns, completed nearly every throw and finished with a near-perfect passer rating.
But Jackson's performance in Sunday's season-opening 38-6 victory over the Cleveland Browns went beyond the numbers. After an off-target touchdown pass to tight end Mark Andrews on the opening series, Jackson carved up the Browns with accuracy, consistently putting more touch on the ball and placing it where it needed to be.
Does Jackson believe he's a better passer than he was last year? "I do," said Jackson, who finished 20-of-25 passing for 275 yards and three touchdowns. "Just dedication."
Here are three ways in which Jackson improved as a passer:
Tight windows. Jackson was 3-of-4 on tight-window throws Sunday. He hit a well-covered Marquise "Hollywood" Brown on a perfectly thrown 47-yard strike. Last year, he completed 31% of those throws. The key is Jackson is throwing to specific areas and not targets.
"He's a lot more pinpoint with it," Brown said. "Now it's our job to get to that spot because that is where he is putting it."
Deeper throws. One of Jackson's biggest goals was to drive the ball more downfield. Jackson did just that against the Browns, going 9-of-10 for 180 yards on passes of 10 yards or more, 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.
"Lamar Jackson just played a phenomenal game," coach John Harbaugh said. "He just played a top-level game in every single way, and I think he was, probably, the biggest difference in the game."
Play action. Jackson was a perfect 10-of-10 for 128 yards on play-action passes against Cleveland, including his five-yard touchdown pass to Andrews in the first quarter. That tied for the most play-action completions of Jackson’s career. Last season, Jackson completed 65.1% of play-action attempts, which ranked just 22nd in the NFL.
"The misconception of our offense is that we’re only a run-first team," Andrews said. "We’ve shown time and time again that we can throw the ball. We used the run game to throw off that. We’re going to be dangerous in the passing game."
Jackson broke out in last year's opener, when he threw for 324 yards and five touchdowns in Miami. After that, the Ravens went on to set the NFL's single-season rushing record and Jackson finished 22nd with 3,127 yards passing.
But there's a different feel this year, and a difference in the way Jackson is throwing the ball. He'll get a chance to build upon that in Week 2 against the Houston Texans, who allowed three touchdown passes to Patrick Mahomes in Week 1 and gave up the fourth-most passing yards last season.
"To me, he’s obviously the best player in the world," Andrews said. "His arm reflects that."