The Baltimore Ravens shifted to a run-heavy offense with Lamar Jackson under center last year, and that will remain the same this year.
With a 4-5 record heading into a bye week last year, and an injury to Joe Flacco to open the door, the Baltimore Ravens went with rookie Lamar Jackson under center. A dramatic shift to a run-heavy approach came, and they went 6-1 down the stretch to win the AFC North.
Over his seven regular season starts, Jackson averaged 22.6 pass attempts and 17 carries per game. Include the playoff loss the Los Angeles Chargers, and that shifts to 23.4 pass attempts per game.
Jackson was asked about Baltimore’s ideal run-pass ratio during an appearance with Adam Schein on Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Radio on Monday. After an offseason of attempted secrecy, beyond head coach John Harbaugh suggesting to “take the over” if the mark for Jackson’s rushing attempts this year is set a 139 (Cam Newton’s career-high, for what it’s worth), the quarterback put a number on his pass attempts per game.
Probably throwing, probably 30 passes a game,” Jackson said. “Running, I probably won’t have as many attempts as last year. We have a great backfield and we’re just going to take what the defense gives us and take advantage of it and just go from there.
Jackson did not draw a distinction between attempts and dropbacks, which could obviously turn into run attempts for him. A jump to 30 raw pass attempts per game would be a solid jump from his run as the starter last year. But as NFL.com noted 28 of the 33 quarterbacks who had over 200 pass attempts in 2018 averaged more than 30 per game, so that mark is not a shift toward recklessly airing it out. During his seven starts last year, Flacco averaged 42.1 pass attempts per game (second in the league).
Jackson has some growth to do as a pocket passer, and he’s been working to fix his ball security issues (12 fumbles last year). A move toward more passing and less running has to naturally happen for him, but the Ravens will still be one of the more run-heavy offenses in the NFL in 2019 and Jackson will be a key component of that.