Cincinnati — The Ravens offense has been hailed all season for its diversity of playing styles and consistency of execution. On Sunday, they showed that they can run for a first down with two quarterbacks in the backfield.
All they needed was a triple option involving their three Heisman Trophy winners.
Early in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals, Lamar Jackson lined up in the shotgun with running back Mark Ingram to his right and backup quarterback Robert Griffin III to his left. For such an exotic formation, it had an obvious name. “It’s called the Heisman package,” Ingram said later. “That’s what we call it.”
Ingram won college football’s highest individual honor in 2009 at Alabama, Griffin two years later at Baylor, and Jackson in 2016 at Louisville. Griffin said afterward that the trio had been pushing the package to coaches for the past few weeks, but Ingram “really pushed the envelope” this past week.
On second-and-4, Jackson took the snap, faked an inside handoff to Ingram and dashed off tackle, with Griffin running a few yards behind. Just as Jackson crossed midfield to pick up the first down, Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard stepped up to meet him. So Jackson pitched the ball to the unmarked Griffin, who took it for a 12-yard gain overall.
The Ravens scored a touchdown on the drive to go up 21-3, and a pick-six by cornerback Marcus Peters pushed the lead to 28-3 just before halftime.
“That was dope," Jackson, who faulted himself for a “slow” pitch, said after the 49-13 win. "Everybody went for Mark. I tried to let 21 [Dennard] commit to me. He didn’t. He did a great job with that. And I just let RG do his thing.”
“Once he got it, he got what he could and got out of bounds without taking a hit,” Ingram said of Griffin. "Hey, he’s Heisman for a reason.”
Then again, they all are.