When Mark Andrews leaped up and extended his right arm to corral a Lamar Jackson lofted pass with an impressive one-handed effort, he not only scored Baltimore's first six points of the 2020 season but also squashed any doubts he'd be able to replicate the kind of success he had last season.
It was a play emblematic of Andrews' overall performance, producing two touchdowns and 58 yards on five receptions.
Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 13, 2020
“That guy top-two, not two, in the league right now at tight end,” Jackson said postgame. “He makes my job way easier. If it’s a DB guarding him, safety, linebacker, it don’t really matter. He’s going to do a great job getting open and he’s going to score a touchdown nine times out of 10.”
As the teams' third-leading receiver on the day - which shows the impressive depth this offense boasts - Andrews was the reliable option for Jackson all game long just like last season. Andrews led the league in receiving touchdowns for a tight end with 10, and looks well on his way to doing so again in 2020.
Still, Andrews' stellar season-opening day wasn't all about the touchdowns. Check out this connection on a downfield route with a perfect delivery from Jackson. The unanimous 2019 MVP threaded the needle after avoiding pressure in the pocket, dropping it right over a couple Browns defenders.
If the third-year TE can continue to produce like he did Sunday against Cleveland, it'll make this offense as unstoppable as last year. But while Andrews' solid hands and gifted physicality make him an ideal pass-catching option, it was perfectly thrown balls like that from Jackson that'll take Baltimore to the promised land.
And Andrews knows it too.
“For me personally, I’ve kinda known the player that (Jackson has) been just playing with him,” Andrews said. “To me, he’s obviously the best player in the world and his arm reflects that. He’s going to continue to grow, and he has. It’s just a blessing to be able to play with him. He says I make his job easy, but it goes the other way around for sure.”