Beware of the Ravens through the air

Lamar Jackson leading improved passing attack
Lamar Jackson
Posted at 3:52 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 15:59:10-04

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens are in the middle of a transformation. No longer are they a team whose calling card is defense or a team built strictly around the run. They are a team that can beat you in the air. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is starting to carve opponents up with his arm when they sell out against the ground game.

"That’s what it was this past Sunday," said Jackson about the win over Denver. "They wanted to stop the run. We had to throw the ball. I hope teams do it a lot. Just let us throw the ball around. Let our playmakers make plays."

Jackson leads the NFL with 14.4 yards per completion. It is no surprise when talking about what has changed over the past couple games, he gave credit to the protectors in front of him.

"Our [offensive] line is doing a great job with giving me time so it’s my job to complete them passes and see guys come open, throw the ball to them, let them make plays."

When will one of those guys making plays include Rashod Bateman? The rookie receiver practiced again Thursday as he comes back from the groin injury he suffered in training camp.

WMAR-2 Sports Reporter Shawn Stepner asked Head Coach John Harbaugh how likely Bateman is to make his NFL debut on Monday night against the Colts and what the first-round draft pick has to show in practice to play.

Harbaugh’s said Bateman has to show that he is ready to play in a game and he hasn’t been out there in a while.

When talking about the Indianapolis offense it starts with new quarterback Carson Wentz. The Ravens faced him last year in Philadelphia when he nearly rallied the Eagles to a win.

"He makes a lot of throws, especially over the middle, high to low type throws," said Harbaugh. "He gets the ball out to his backs really well. He is very much on time. He does a good job with protection."

"He does not give up on any play no matter what the score is," said cornerback Marlon Humphrey. "He doesn’t care about if he is about to get hit. I know we apply a lot of pressure but he doesn’t care if he’s about to get hit. He is going to stay in there."

That might equal a big day for the Ravens pass rush. The Colts have given up ten sacks this year and average about ten quarterback hits allowed per game.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook