The 2018 NFL Hall of Fame Game is in the books, and the Baltimore Ravens won an entertaining contest 17 to 16.
The top story was about Lamar Jackson: the 2016 Heisman Trophy Winner and Louisville QB Star didn’t disappoint. While he finished with passer stats that were poor, his actual outing was better than the 4 of 10 for 31 yards would imply – and at one point he was 3 of 4 for 21 yards, and then throw a TD pass.
Jackson was also the Ravens second leading rusher, with 3 carries for 25 yards – just over a 6 yard-per-carry average. But it’s clear the Chicago Bears were expecting Jackson, and threw the defensive kitchen sink at him: safety blitzes, linebacker dogs to stop the waggle pass, and man-for-man with those blitzes.
It’s also clear that the Ravens didn’t have built in adjustments for Jackson to call, and spent way too much time working on Jackson the rusher, and not Jackson the passer. As Lamar Jackson discovered, he’s not going to be able to outrun NFL defenses all the time and the Bears were plenty quick to the ball.
It’s also obvious that the Chicago Bears own passing game, guided by 6th year NFL QB Tyler Bray, did have those adjustments, and “look-in” patterns, allowing quick down field completions.
Interestingly, the Ravens had something of a more advanced set of plays for the veteran Robert Griffin III to run – and ran then well, he did. RGIII finished 7 for 11 for 58 yards, one TD and one interception.
After the game, RGIII told NFL Network’s Steve Wyche that he was happy to be back in control of an offense and having to read defenses “on the fly.” It’s a new RGIII, with shorter hair and the demeanor of a politician. RGIII for President?