Lamar Jackson readily says Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is the GOAT, but that doesn’t mean he’s picking him to win Super Bowl LIII.
Jackson is hanging out in Atlanta enjoying the Super Bowl festivities, and he joined ESPN’s “First Take” with Stephen A. Smith Friday afternoon for his first interview since the Ravens’ playoff loss.
The first question, naturally, was who Jackson is picking to win the big game. His answer: the Los Angeles Rams.
“I feel they have the all-around best offense right now going into the game,” Jackson said.
“Tom Brady is the GOAT, he’s always been the GOAT to me. But going into the game, Todd Gurley is a great back, they have a great receiving corps, they have a great defense – the front four is crazy. I just think the Rams might take it.”
After getting that out of the way, Smith dove into Jackson’s playoff performance against the Chargers, when Jackson and the offense got off to a slow start.
Jackson finished 14-of-29 for 194 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He ran nine times for 54 yards and fumbled three times.
“It wasn’t Lamar,” Jackson said. “I just had to step up earlier. … We’ve got to start playoff games trying to win out the gate, everyone moving fast. … It wasn’t about the moment. I played in big games all my life. It was my first NFL playoff game, but that didn’t really mean anything. I just had to step it up.”
Jackson rebounded in the fourth quarter with two touchdowns that put the Ravens back in the game, but the performance added fuel to the fire of critics who say opponents will catch up to Jackson and the Ravens’ run-heavy attack, especially if they force Jackson to throw a lot.
“You’re going to have to see,” Jackson said with a chuckle.
“When I stated playing – I started in Week 10 or Week 11 – I really didn’t have chemistry with the starting receivers. I was always with the rookies and stuff like that. [Joe] Flacco was able to produce with the team. But I felt like each and every week, I was able to progress. But we’ll have to see next year. [The critics] can keep talking.”
Before letting Jackson go, Smith had to get his take on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, who is at the center of trade rumors this offseason.
“He can come to us,” Jackson said with a smile. “I want to steal him.”