Rookie Lamar Jackson helps Ravens rally past Dolphins 27-10
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Baltimore Ravens rookie Lamar Jackson gave his friends and family plenty to cheer about Saturday, even if he didn't give them tickets.
The South Florida native led touchdown possessions of 84, 62 and 73 yards against mostly deep reserves as Baltimore rallied past the Miami Dolphins 27-10.
"This isn't college where I get free tickets," Jackson said, "so everyone who came here tonight paid for their own tickets. My mom watched from home on TV."
Jackson entered the game at the start of the second half and had his best performance yet for the Ravens. He went 7 for 10 for 98 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 39 yards on three carries, including a 19-yard scoring run.
"My decision-making is getting better," Jackson said. "I'm working my way up. I feel like I'm doing pretty good, but there's still room for improvement."
Coach John Harbaugh was encouraged to see signs of progress from Jackson.
"Today was kind of his breaking-out in the game," Harbaugh said. "We've seen it in practice where he's done some really good things. We hadn't really seen it in the game yet. He handled himself well."
Kenyan Drake sparked one scoring drive with a 30-yard run and another with a 36-yard reception for the Dolphins, whose starters reached the end zone for the first time this preseason.
Ryan Tannehill fumbled twice early, and the Dolphins drew boos from the small crowd when they went three-and-out on the first series. But the offense began to click in the second quarter against a mix of Ravens starters and reserves, and Tannehill finished 11 of 16 for 115 yards.
Danny Amendola made a nifty cutback to juke past two defensive backs and score on a 16-yard pass from Tannehill. It was the first touchdown by Miami's starters during the preseason in 10 possessions.
On the next series, Tannehill hit Drake deep for a big gain to set up a field goal, and the Dolphins led 10-3 at halftime before both teams emptied their benches.
Tannehill said the offense is on track for the start of the season.
"It was good to finally get the ball in the end zone," he said. "We're heading in the right direction."
While starters for Miami saw their most extensive action this month, among those not playing for the Ravens were quarterback Joe Flacco, their top three wide receivers, three offensive linemen, safety Eric Weddle, and linebackers Terrell Suggs and C.J. Mosley.
Robert Griffin III, battling to make the Ravens' roster, played the first half. He went 9 for 15 for 66 yards and carried five times for 41 yards while playing with a mix of starters and reserves.
"There's room for improvement for sure," coach Adam Gase said. "But it's hard to put it all on them when you get the ball and you're not expecting it, or we're not blocking guys. That's why it's hard to evaluate quarterbacks at times in preseason games."
OUT OF POSITION
Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso made a third-down tackle, flipped over, became disoriented and went to the wrong bench. When Harbaugh gestured him to the other sideline , Alonso trotted across the field and reached the Dolphins bench wearing a sheepish grin. He said he was unhurt.
The Ravens' Justin Tucker was wide left on a 51-yard field goal try and had another 51-yarder blocked. The most accurate kicker in NFL history is 0 for 4 beyond 50 yards during the exhibition season.
The Ravens dedicated the win to the family of receivers coach Bobby Engram following the death Saturday of his 20-year-old daughter, Bobbi.
Ravens: TE Hayden Hurst, the team's top draft pick, will undergo surgery for a stress fracture in his foot, and he's expected to be sidelined three to four weeks. He missed the game. ... Starting DT Willie Henry had hernia surgery and will be sidelined several weeks. ... Rookie S DeShon Elliott broke his left forearm, and the injury could be season-ending. ... Rookie OL Greg Senat left the game with a foot injury.
Ravens: Baltimore plays its final exhibition game Thursday at home against Washington.
Dolphins: Miami plays its exhibition finale Thursday at Atlanta.
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Updated August 25, 2018