Jackson shows MVP credentials, Ravens down Browns
Quarterback Lamar Jackson picked up where he left off last season, completing 20-of-25 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for a team-high 45 yards, as the Baltimore Ravens dumped the visiting Cleveland Browns 38-6 on Sunday.
Tight end Mark Andrews caught two touchdown passes, Marquise Brown had five catches for 101 yards, and rookie running back J.K. Dobbins rushed for two scores for the Ravens (1-0), who picked up their 13th consecutive regular-season victory.
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for 189 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and running backs Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb combined for 132 rushing yards for Cleveland (0-1), which failed to win its season opener for the 16th consecutive year.
It was a sour debut for new coach Kevin Stefanski, who saw his team post its most lopsided loss in an opener since a 43-0 defeat to Pittsburgh in 1999.
Jackson, the reigning NFL MVP, looked every bit the part. He completed 13 of 16 passes — including 10 in a row — for 208 yards and two scores in the first half as the Ravens raced out to a 24-6 lead by halftime.
The Ravens got rolling early. Cornerback Marlon Humphreys picked off Mayfield’s fourth pass of the day, and Jackson capped Baltimore’s first series of the year with a 5-yard touchdown to Andrews, who made a dazzling one-handed catch in the back of the end zone.
The Ravens made it 10-0 later in the first quarter after taking over inside the Browns’ 30-yard line after a turnover on a Browns’ fake punt. Justin Tucker converted a 41-yard field goal.
The Browns pulled to within 10-6 after Mayfield flipped a 1-yard touchdown pass to David Njoku, but kicker Austin Siebert promptly missed the PAT.
Jackson led the Ravens on a 99-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter — just the third 99-yard march in franchise history. Dobbins finished it with his first career score — a 3-yard run to the left corner pylon and a 17-6 lead with 2:53 left in the half.
Cleveland, now 1-20-1 in openers since 1999, had a chance for points late in the first half but Odell Beckham Jr. dropped a sure first-down ball on third-and-2, and then Siebert missed a 41-yard field goal attempt.
Jackson took advantage. He led an impeccable 69-yard touchdown drive in just 35 seconds, capping it with a 9-yard strike to Andrews for a 24-6 lead with just six seconds left in the half.
Jackson added a 19-yard touchdown to Willie Snead IV in the third quarter and Dobbins scored on a 2-yard run early in the fourth.
Humphreys (shoulder) left the game in the second quarter and Ravens’ left tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) left in the third quarter. Neither returned to play.
The Browns played without defensive starters in cornerback Greedy Williams (shoulder) and linebacker Mack Wilson (knee). Rookie starting left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. (leg), rookie linebacker Jacob Phillips (knee) and Njoku (knee) all left the game in the third quarter.
–Field Level Media