The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

COMMENTARY Lamar Jackson is ‘quarterbacky’ enough.

The controversial take hints at something else.
Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson has, without a doubt, been an MVP-caliber player this year. 

Jackson has played incredibly efficiently in both the passing game and on the ground and led the Ravens to a 13-4 record, which earned them the No. 1 seed in the AFC. 

Jackson threw for 3,678 yards, 24 touchdowns, and seven interceptions in the regular season. He also added 821 yards and five touchdowns on the ground and finished as the leading rusher for Baltimore this season. 

The Ravens never had a true starter healthy at running back this season due to injuries to Baltimore’s top backs J.K. Dobbins (torn Achilles) and Keaton Mitchell (torn ACL).  These absences made it even more impressive that Jackson ran the ball well, as the talent in the backfield thinned throughout the season. Star tight end Mark Andrews injured his ankle in week eleven as well, which kept him out of the rest of the regular season. 

Jackson finished number 15 in total passing and number 22 in total rushing during the regular season this year. While the passing yards rank in the middle of the NFL, Jackson only threw seven interceptions and finished with an average QBR of 64.6 (fourth overall) per ESPNJackson also led all quarterbacks in rushing, as he finished 164 yards ahead of the next quarterback, Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears. 

The MVP case for Jackson seems to be cut and dry across most media outlets, but some disagree. Monse Bolaños, Fox Sports radio host, had an interesting take on Jackson and his play style.  He appeared as a guest host on  The Covino & Rich Show back on December 28.

“I want my quarterbacks to be quarterbacky,” Bolaños said. “To me, Lamar Jackson’s just a great athlete, and he had a great game against the 49ers. Prisoners of the moment. He is not the MVP. Christian McCaffrey is the MVP.”

Bolaños later apologized and is entitled to her opinion, but the terms ‘quarterbacky’ and ‘athlete’ seemed to hint at something else.

To me, the comments have an underlying message that revolves around Jackson’s race and appearance, not his play on the field. These comments seem to stem from an outdated stereotype that African-American quarterbacks are strictly athletes and can’t throw the ball. 

A quarterback’s job in the NFL is generally to win games, throw the football efficiently within the scheme, and run well when one can.  Jackson has won year in and year out with a career record of 58-19, led the Ravens to the best seed in the AFC, threw the ball efficiently this year, and led quarterbacks in rushing this year. 

If these numbers don’t suggest that Jackson is ‘quarterbacky’ enough, then I have no idea what would. It is sheer nonsense to suggest that Jackson is just an athlete.

Christian McCaffrey of the San Francisco 49ers had a great season. McCaffrey led the league in rushing with 1,459 yards, but if you remove McCaffrey from the 49ers, they would still be a contender. 

Jackson’s removal from the Ravens, however, would tank the Raven offense. If the time he spent injured in the last two seasons is any proof, they would not be contenders this season without him. 

At the end of the day, statistical arguments can always be made, but the verdict is in: Lamar Jackson can throw a football well, end of story. 

The 2023-24 NFL MVP award will be announced at the NFL honors show at 9 p.m. E.T., at the Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas, on Thursday, Feb. 8.

The NFL Honors show will be televised on CBS, and the NFL Network, and can be streamed on Paramount+ and ESPN+.

Jackson and his Baltimore Ravens will play the Houston Texans at 4:30 p.m. E.T., at M&T Bank Stadium, this Saturday in a divisional-round playoff matchup. 

The game will be televised on ABC and can be streamed on ESPN+.

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About the Contributors
Zach is a junior multimedia journalism major from Clarkston, Washington. He likes football and grew up going to Cougar football games.
GRACIE ROGERS, Evergreen Illustration editor
Gracie Rogers is a graphic illustrator for the Daily Evergreen. She is a senior Digital Technology & Culture major from Pullman, Washington. Gracie started working for the Daily Evergreen back in Spring 2022.