The N.F.L. began its 100th season with a defensive slugfest between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears on Thursday night that reminded people a bit too much of what football looked like 100 years ago. There should be quite a bit more offense on Sunday. Come back here all day for highlights, injuries, top performances and (presumably) even more drama from Antonio Brown.
Lamar Jackson Can Throw the Football
Remember when there was concern over whether Lamar Jackson could succeed as a quarterback once teams adjusted to Baltimore’s run-heavy approach? He started off his sophomore season by leading the Ravens to the highest score in the N.F.L. since 2012.
Jackson could do no wrong. Written off by some last season as an electric runner with no passing arm, he completed 17 of 20 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns on Sunday before he was pulled from the game with his team leading by 52-10.
Robert Griffin III relieved Jackson and didn’t miss a beat, throwing a touchdown pass to Mark Andrews that made it 59-10.
In all, Baltimore piled up a franchise record 643 yards of offense, with their 59 points tying the 2012 New England Patriots for the highest score in a game of the past eight seasons, according to Pro Football Reference. The last team to break 60 points was the New Orleans Saints, who did it in a 62-10 win over Indianapolis in 2012.
It would not be wise to draw too many conclusions in a game being played against the Dolphins, but Baltimore, bolstered by the addition of Mark Ingram II at running back, showed an incredible amount of balance, with 378 yards on the ground and 265 through the air. Only two teams in N.F.L. history — the 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers and the 1950 Los Angeles Rams — had ever surpassed 350 passing yards and 250 rushing yards in the same game.
The Ravens did not commit a turnover, and were able to come away with Jackson fairly unscathed, as he carried the ball as a runner just three times and endured just one sack.
The Dolphins got one touchdown pass out of the veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, but had turned to the newly-acquired Josh Rosen by the end of the game. Neither made any sort of dent in Baltimore’s terrific start to the season.
Nick Foles Injured in Jacksonville Loss
The 2019 Kansas City Chiefs look a lot like the 2018 Chiefs. Unfortunately for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the same may be true of their franchise.
In a terrible blow to the Jaguars, Nick Foles, the team’s new starting quarterback, was forced out of the game with a broken clavicle in his non-throwing shoulder while throwing his first touchdown pass of the season. He did not return, as the Jaguars fell to Patrick Mahomes and Chiefs, 40-26.
It was midway through the first quarter, with Jacksonville down by 10-0, when Foles launched a deep ball into the end zone that D.J. Chark pulled down for a 35-yard touchdown. Shortly after Foles released the ball, he was crushed into the turf by Kansas City’s Chris Jones.
With Foles out, and the team having already fallen behind by 17-7, the Jaguars’s offense was put in the hands of Gardner Minshew, a sixth-round draft pick who threw for a whopping 4,779 yards last year while running the Air Raid offense under Coach Mike Leach at Washington State.
Minshew, the only quarterback besides Foles on Jacksonville’s roster, performed well, completing 22 of 25 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns, but he had no chance of keeping up with Kansas City, even after the Chiefs lost Tyreek Hill, the team’s superstar wide receiver, to a shoulder injury.
“I was really proud of him stepping up,” Foles said at a postgame news conference. “I’m going to be here to help him in any way possible.”
Mahomes, nursing an ankle injury he sustained in the second quarter, lived up to last year’s Most Valuable Player Award by passing for 378 yards and three touchdowns. He got some help from his team’s latest addition, LeSean McCoy, who carried the ball 10 times for 81 yards.
Sunday’s Top Performers
The top performances after the 1 p.m. games.
Lamar Jackson, BAL: 17-20, 324 yards, 5 touchdowns
Patrick Mahomes, KC: 25-33, 378 yards, 3 touchdowns
Case Keenum, WAS: 30-45, 380 yards, 3 touchdowns
Greg Robinson, a left tackle for the Cleveland Browns, was ejected from his team’s game against the Tennessee Titans for an ugly play in which he kicked Kenny Vaccaro, a safety, in the head as they were both falling to the ground.
The ejection proved remarkably costly for Cleveland, as Robinson’s replacement, Kendall Lamm, was ruled out with a knee injury shortly afterward. The Browns, who came into the season with a great deal of enthusiasm, were trailing the Titans by 15-13 late in the third quarter.
In other action, Myles Jack, a linebacker for the Jacksonville Jaguars, was ejected for throwing a punch at Chiefs’ receiver Demarcus Robinson. He briefly refused to leave the field and had to be escorted off by Jacksonville coaches.
What to Look For in Week 1
We will get our first glimpse of Coach Kliff Kingsbury’s modified version of the Air Raid offense when the Arizona Cardinals host the Detroit Lions (4:25 p.m., Fox) in a clash between the N.F.L.’s offensive revolution and a Lions team led by Coach Matt Patricia that seems determined to stick to a game plan more popular 20 years ago.