Playoff exit takes nothing away from Lamar Jackson’s special season

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In this age of hot takery and random gasbaggery, it’s no surprise that some are using Baltimore’s loss to the Titans as a vehicle for knocking quarterback Lamar Jackson. But regardless of what the Ravens did (didn’t do) in the postseason, nothing diminishes his spectacular regular season.

The hottest of the gasbaggish asshat takes goes like this: The respective performances of Jackson and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson justifies voting for Wilson over Jackson as MVP. That argument was made in a clumsy defense of former NFL G.M. Bill Polian, who suggested that Jackson should switch to receiver two years ago and who voted for Wilson not Jackson as the Associated Press All-Pro quarterback for 2019.

The parameters of the votes, which are made the Wednesday after the regular season ends, are simple and clear. It’s based only on performance in the regular season, not actual or expected performance in the playoffs. And what happens in the playoffs has no relevance whatsoever to who deserved which honor for the regular season.

And spare me the “reasonable minds may differ” bullstuff that several members of the media spewed in defending the right of the 50 AP voters to pick whoever they want for any award. Sometimes, reasonable minds shouldn’t differ. If they do, it speaks to the question of whether the person entrusted to properly exercise his or her voting rights is reasonable and/or sane and/or ultimately qualified to even have a vote.

Under the notion that Jackson’s effort in a playoff loss (during which he nevertheless accounted for more than 500 yards from scrimmage) doesn’t compare favorably to Wilson’s effort in a playoff loss and thus makes Jackson less valuable than Wilson, every NFL MVP since 1999 would lose his trophy, because every NFL MVP since 1999 didn’t ultimately get his fingerprints on the only NFL-related trophy that matters.

From Patrick Mahomes to Tom Brady (three times) to Matt Ryan to Cam Newton to Aaron Rodgers (twice) to Peyton Manning (five times) to Adrian Peterson to LaDanian Tomlinson to Shaun Alexander to Steve McNair to Rich Gannon to Kurt Warner (in 2000) to Marshall Faulk, no NFL MVP has won the Super Bowl since Warner’s paper-or-plastic-to-riches rise to the top of the NFL mountain in Super Bowl XXXIV. That failure didn’t take away from their regular-season achievements, and it shouldn’t take away from Jackson’s.

(Material from personal interviews, wire services, other beat writers, and league and team sources was used in this report.)

62 responses to “Playoff exit takes nothing away from Lamar Jackson’s special season

  1. He was definitely the regular season MVP. Problem is that when the playoffs hits he becomes a one read panic run QB. Harbaugh needs to figure out what happens to his QB when the big lights hit in the post season because he becomes a much more ordinary QB. Until they figure that part out – it is one and done every year.

  2. It doesn’t. But it’s pretty clear that he still has ways to go. Also, it’s clear that their offense/running game is much too “Lamar making big plays” dependent. Until he can be a much more consistent threat from the pocket, the Ravens will continue to run into this roadblock. Especially from teams that can stop the run (i.e. Tennessee)

  3. The gimmick is up…he had one hell of a year, like RG3 and Kaep in 2012 and that read option pistol and the wild cat…gimmicks eventually get figured out because they are just that gimmicks…the game plan for lamar is simple: force him to throw the ball, because he can’t…this wasn’t just some one off that the titans lucked into, they planned for this and executed it perfectly

  4. Henry is more deserving of MVP than Lamar. Anybody who watched the game can see why. Lamar is not a good passer. He is not accurate. You can crown his arse if you want, but there are at least 3 guys more valuable than he is. Rodgers, Mahomes, Henry, Anyone that thinks he is more valuable than Mahomes is crazy imho.

  5. Lamar J. has improved as a pocket passer. That allowed him to have a great season. The question going forward is whether he is a good enough pocket passer to be a Super Bowl winning QB. Fran Tarkenton was not good enough to win the Super Bowl, despite being a great QB and a good scrambler. Another good scrambler is Steve Young, and he has a SB ring to show for his career. Joe Montana, Roger Staubach, Terry Bradshaw and Aaron Rodgers are also good scramblers who have won Super Bowls. Is Lamar J. good enough to win the Super Bowl, or does he need a great defense to win one, as Russell Wilson did? We shall see.

  6. Did he have a great REGULAR season? Arguably one of the greatest ever? Yes and yes, but yes, the loss, and specifically how his mistakes contributed to it, takes something away from the season as a whole. Just like the Pats going undefeated in the regular season and losing the Super Bowl doesn’t take away from the accomplishment of the regular season, but it takes away from the entirety of the season.

  7. He did have a great season, but I’m still chuckling at those who were (are) claiming he’s the “best quarterback” in the league. He clearly is not.

    Saturday was proof that good coaching and old school defense will beat gadget offenses eventually. I think the Ravens’ window for running that style of offense slammed shut. Good luck with that next season.

  8. Why is Derek Henry not being mentioned for MVP? He is clearly the reason why the Titans are in the play-offs and winning.

    Lamar was exposed Saturday as showing he has not matured enough to compete at the playoff intensity level to the point the game was not even close and Lamar lacked the experience to even make a marginal comeback, at least Russell had the game close and Mahommes (easily) did comeback from an early deficit.

  9. Lamar had a great season, but he’s so young… He might not have been ready for the pressure of the playoffs.

  10. If you do not win the Super Bowl in the NFL, you have failed.

    31 NFL teams will be failures this year.

    Well over 1500 players will be NFL failures this year.

    Lamar Jackson is just one of many NFL players who failed this year.

  11. The problem with running QB’s like Jackson and Allen is that when the playoffs come around the defenses are better than most teams they play in the regular season.

    Look at Allen, he played 3 tough defenses during the regular season and one in the playoffs, he lost all 4.

  12. Yes it does and this is coming from a ravens fan. you can not dominate that much all season and then lay an egg that bad. after all the super bowl talk and you can’t even 1 game. The only way it doesnt take away from his season is if the Titans win the Super Bowl

  13. High School Offense exposed. Titans laid out the blueprint. Now AFC central teams can get the personal they need to run it and regularly bet the Ravens and their (poorly) throwing RB.

  14. If its a regular season award ONLY then he is the MVP. He was hands down the best player in the regular season. It’s as simple as that.

    -Titans fan.

  15. I was surprised at the ducks he was throwing to the sidelines. At first I thought they were tipped.

    Then it was clear to me how awful his sidelines throws are.

    Now everyone has the blueprint. But maybe not the personnel.

  16. I cannot say I am surprised with the amount of negativity surrounding Lamar Jackson. The ravens loss was a team loss not a Lamar Jackson loss. The fact that so many are using the team’s loss to fuel their own skewed views of what is and isn’t a bad quarterback is nauseating to say the least.

  17. Jackson is big and has some serious moves and is very hard to tackle. This does not make him the best QB ever… He will get beat up and just like all of the other shiny-while-new running QBs, he will be a flash in the pan.
    I cant stand Wilson, but he is one of the few who can usually drag his team to a “W.” Wilson is a much better QB than Jackson and far more valuable to his team.
    I think Mahomes is going to be the next , “Rogers.” He will be around for a long time and play at an astonishingly high level. He sure showed it yesterday… Don’t see another QB in the league with a future as bright…

  18. It does take away from his season,because when the Ravens got to the tournament,the Titans bulldozed them with Derrick Henry and knocked them out.. The team that everyone talked about all year forgot to show up. Yes,Jackson is a great player,not taking that away,but winning the SB is the purpose of it all. The regular season means nothing except for seeding when the playoffs start.

  19. The “Lamar can’t throw” shtick can’t even hold up in this playoff loss. There were 7 awful drops (SEVEN!) by his WR/TE/RBs. Lets say 4 of them were caught, he’s completing 70% of his passes in the loss.

    He was accurate, had excellent pocket pretense, and extended plays. He’s 23 and has unlimited potential. He’s going to be a league MVP again, and eventually a Superbowl MVP. He’s a special talent.

  20. When the stakes are the highest and the competition is the toughest you can’t run some college offense.

  21. Of course it takes away from the season. Doesn’t mean much about the MVP but you don’t have a great season to be one and done in the playoffs. It isn’t often things align to have a special season and this is a missed opportunity no matter how you look at it. To hope you get the top seed with a healthy team again and this will be the new norm in Baltimore is folly.

  22. His sideline tantrums and sitting alone signal he is NOT a leader of men. Josh Allen may not ever win the MVP, but he will win a Super Bowl.

    The Ravens will never believe in Jackson again.

  23. captainstabbins says:
    January 13, 2020 at 11:49 am
    Randall Cunningham 2.0…

    ————–

    Except Randall was a good QB.

  24. clipper222 says:
    January 13, 2020 at 12:29 pm
    The “Lamar can’t throw” shtick can’t even hold up in this playoff loss. There were 7 awful drops (SEVEN!) by his WR/TE/RBs. Lets say 4 of them were caught, he’s completing 70% of his passes in the loss.

    He was accurate, had excellent pocket pretense, and extended plays. He’s 23 and has unlimited potential. He’s going to be a league MVP again, and eventually a Superbowl MVP. He’s a special talent.

    ———-

    I saw a lot of balls that were too high or behind the receivers that got dropped.

    Sorry, he’s not accurate, unless the guys are wide open.

  25. Peyton Manning did the one and out thing 9 times without this type of backlash. He won 5 MVP’s while going 27 -27 in the post season. He started his career 0-3 in he playoffs.

  26. Yes it does take away from regular season. Fantasy points and MVP have little relevance to fans wishing a SB title. You play to win the game. Patriots most successful dynasty because they ignore the noise and fantasy football and awards and pro bowls etc. They play to WIN. Fans want titles not MVP awards. Lamar failed them.

  27. “Playoff exit takes A LOT away from Lamar Jackson’s special season”

    Fixed it for you.

    (It will be interesting to see how he and the Ravens adjust in 2020)

  28. Sorry, but it takes away quite a bit actually. Football is tougher when you aren’t facing the Bengals and Browns.
    ==========================================

    The Browns beat them this year.

  29. It’s like 2007,when the Patriots went undefeated and then lost the Super Bowl. It’s no good if you don’t win it all. The Ravens played great for the majority of the season,with a QB like no other leading the way. Playoffs come,and after a bye week,they run into a buzz saw. Season over. No Super Bowl,no nothing. It takes away.

  30. Cunningham won a pair of playoff games when his team was trailing 20-7 and 19-3.
    Let me know when Lamar comes back from 13+ in the playoffs a few times.

  31. Turnovers will kill any team, even the best. 2 interceptions on key drives, lost fumble, multiple turnover on downs resulting in lost scoring opportunities and giving the opponent short fields.

    That and they got out muscled all game. Oh, and Derrick Henry is an MVP caliber player as well.

  32. Nah, bashing a 23-year old who lost a playoff game with no one helping him definitely takes away from his season, according to everyone here (especially Pats fans). No way he’ll keep getting better, learning, growing, and succeeding. Naaaaah.

  33. You’re using the term “mvp” wrong if they can’t win a playoff game or can only muster 1 TD in a playoff game.

    Lamar played good in the regular season but I’d take Mahomes, Garappalo, Rodgers, Wilson, Watson or Henry over Lamar.

  34. I’m reserving my judgement until Defensive Coordinators have been given a full off-season to figure out Baltimore’s offense. Lamar will still be good – but I’m thinking this season was the high point.

  35. He’s Kaepernick without the playoff wins. Greg Roman built an offense for Kap and now he has one for Jackson.

  36. It does a little… MVPs almost never win it all but you’d really hope that he could’ve at least one a game to just get over that hump

  37. hexy27 says:
    January 13, 2020 at 1:32 pm
    Cunningham won a pair of playoff games when his team was trailing 20-7 and 19-3.
    Let me know when Lamar comes back from 13+ in the playoffs a few times.
    ——————————————————————————-
    Cunningham also had receivers like Chris Carter and Randy Moss to throw it to in his career. In his rookie season, Cunningham completed just 34 percent of his passes and threw just one touchdown against eight interceptions. He continued to improve as his career progressed. The fact is Randall Cunningham has just as many SB rings as Lamar Jackson. Give Lamar some time before judging him; for crying out loud, he is only 23 and just completed his second season. I never thought I would be defending a Baltimore Raven, but all the animosity towards Lamar Jackson in the comments is ridiculous.

  38. bobmillion says:
    January 13, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Why is Derek Henry not being mentioned for MVP? He is clearly the reason why the Titans are in the play-offs and winning.

    Lamar was exposed Saturday as showing he has not matured enough to compete at the playoff intensity level to the point the game was not even close and Lamar lacked the experience to even make a marginal comeback, at least Russell had the game close and Mahommes (easily) did comeback from an early deficit.
    ——————————————————————————
    The reason that Derrick Henry is not being mentioned for MVP is that until Tannehill took over the reigns at QB, Henry was simply an average at best running back this season. The MVP award is for the regular season, and Lamar was far and away the best player this year. In addition to that, Lamar probably had the worst offensive weapons surrounding him all season than any other playoff team with the exception of Philly. (At least Russell Wilson had Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny for most of the regular season; having to play with Lynch and Homer definitely impacted his ability to lead his team back to a victory over the Packers.) I agree with you that Derrick Henry has been a beast in the playoffs and without him, the Titans would most likely be at home sitting on the couch watching the playoffs just like you and me…if they even made the playoffs without him and Tannehill playing so well. Mahomes was also awesome, and I do not want to take anything away from him, but he was also playing against a notoriously pathetic Texans defense. Without Deshaun Watson, the Texans wouldn’t have made it as far as they did either.

  39. Lamar probably had the worst offensive weapons surrounding him all season than any other playoff team with the exception of Philly.

    ====

    Hi from NE!

  40. It takes away something; just not the award. He was the MVP in the NFL with Russell arguably right behind him.

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