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Lamar Jackson should be judged like an elite quarterback | You Pod to Win the Game

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As part of their dive into the current playoff seeding in both the AFC and NFC, Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson and Al Toby discuss the lack of criticism that is given to Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. Charles believes Jackson is a top five QB, so he should be held to the same standards as Brady, Rodgers and Mahomes, but too often Jackson is getting a pass. Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript

CHARLES ROBINSON: It's interesting when you kind of look at the seeds next to each other, one through seven. The three seeds, Ravens and Bucs, I like the Bucs more than I like the Ravens. Lamar Jackson, I mean OK, I'll ask you this.

AL TOBY: Ooh. Do you extend that guy?


AL TOBY: Not my money. So I'm like, yeah I would.

CHARLES ROBINSON: I like his game. I like what he brings to the team. His MVP season was exquisite. I want to when I stack up the top five, six quarterbacks, put him up there regularly. My problem, though, is that I'm now entering the mode with him where I'm like, OK, well if you're an elite top five guy, I feel like those elite, top five guys, they put together three, four really top end games. And then they'll have a clunker.

They'll have a couple clunkers a season. Every single one will. There will be two or three games where MVP type candidates, if you're a top three or four quarterback, those are usually MVP type candidates, they'll have a couple of clunkers a season. And he's had a few in a row. And they are on him. When you miss a 2 point conversion that was just a bad pass, and I know people kind of got on Mark Andrews about that. I think it was a bad pass.

AL TOBY: TJ is in your face like that, you got kind of hit the fast forward button.

CHARLES ROBINSON: Listen, that's fine. But OK, TJ Watt, elite defender versus Lamar Jackson, elite quarterback. You're on that level. It's not like you're talking about a player across the ball who's supposed to be better than you are. He's just at the top of his field, you're at the top of your field. Make the play. I'm trying to be a little more critical about Lamar because I think it's now he should be fielding that. It's not like elite level guys don't deserve criticism. Lamar does, but he gets treated sometimes I feel like in this way where-- and there have been some outlandish statements about him.

But I'm just saying it feels--

AL TOBY: There have been outlandish statements since he walked in the league.

CHARLES ROBINSON: No, there have been. There have been.

AL TOBY: And that sort of has set the, all right, let's not go overboard in our criticism of Lamar.

CHARLES ROBINSON: OK, but see I think we're going overboard in restraint. I think it's like, the second someone says something negative about Lamar, it's like, oh here we go again. It's just jumping on the questioning of Lamar. No, I think now if we're looking at him through the prism of being an elite level quarterback, go ahead and criticize him the way you criticize Russ, the way we criticize Tom when Tom had some bad games last year, the way you criticize anyone.

Look. Patrick Mahomes. No one's questioning Patrick Mahomes for being an elite level quarterback. But guess what? He caught a lot of heat. He caught hell this year when he was throwing interceptions, he's doing things off his back foot trying to be too aggressive, doing too much. It's almost like those guys were fine criticizing those guys. But then with Lamar, because Bill Polian made a comment about he should work out at wide receiver or whatever, and there was all this questioning about, is he a pocket quarterback? Can he be accurate enough? All this stuff. It's just like, well now we've got to just completely take our hands off and not talk about him.

No. He is a really good top shelf quarterback. If we're going to look at him as an elite quarterback, judge him as an elite quarterback the same way you got up in Patrick Mahomes kitchen, the same way you got into Russell Wilson's kitchen, the same way every other one of these guys-- Aaron Rodgers was decimated after week one coming off of this whole off season controversy. Week one, he puts up just an absolute wet fart against the New Orleans Saints. And what happened? Everybody just destroyed the guy for a multitude of reasons, some of which were probably personal.

And yet no one's out here saying Aaron Rodgers is beyond being criticized. No one says that. So I think Lamar should be criticized now because we know he's a great quarterback. Great. Treat him like a great quarterback and then question at times why that greatness struggles. Maybe don't put it all on him. Look around him. It's not the healthiest. The Ravens aren't the healthiest team. They're not running the football.

AL TOBY: You know of this means, Charles? I smell a column.

CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah, right, right, right. We'll see. Let's let it get down the stretch. You asked about--

AL TOBY: Lamar is overrated? Question mark. My column, Charles Robinson.

CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah, see I'm not saying the guy's overrated. I'm saying he's rated. And go ahead and hold him up against his rating.