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What Mink Thinks: Lamar Jackson Has Only One More Narrative to Slay

QB Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson

I'm done with pushing back against the Lamar Jackson trolls. At this point, he's slain all the narratives except one – the loftiest one.

If you see people trolling on Jackson on social media, they're either clueless or a Russian bot.

In Week 2, Jackson destroyed his "kryptonite" when he rallied the Ravens to a win over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, the team that had beaten him in three previous meetings.

On Monday night, Jackson engineered a record-setting 19-point comeback with touchdowns on four straight drives, and he did it almost exclusively with his arm.

Jackson had fourth-quarter comebacks before, but never one like this. He has shown great improvement throwing deep and outside the numbers this season, but the narrative of whether he could completely take over a game with his arm was still hanging by a now severed thread.

When tight end Mark Andrews was asked after Monday night's game what he'd say to people who believed Jackson couldn't lead a comeback with his arm, he laughed.

"I think that's … You can't say that anymore," he simply said.

Of course, that won't stop them from talking. Every time Jackson has prevailed, they've moved the goal posts.

Can't throw? Well, he led the NFL in touchdown passes in his second season, in which he was named the unanimous MVP. "Well, he can't throw from the pocket outside the numbers," they said. Well, yes he can.

The trolls will say Jackson hasn't proven he can win in the playoffs. Well, yes he has. Remember when Jackson beat the Titans, in Tennessee, when he ripped off an insane 48-yard touchdown run to bring the Ravens back from an early 10-point hole? Yes, that was a playoff game, so it counts.

"Well, he can't win the Super Bowl," they'll say.

True, Jackson hasn't done that yet. His playoff record stands at 1-3. There's no sugarcoating that.

But setting the bar at the Super Bowl is the highest of bars, and it's not really a fair argument. Just because Jackson hasn't won the Super Bowl doesn't mean he can't win the Super Bowl.

Over the past 20 years, quarterbacks named Brady or Manning have won 11 of them. That's a pretty elite club, so using that as an argument that Jackson is somehow flawed – at just 24 years old – is insanity.

Jackson has beaten playoff teams numerous times, just in the regular season. So, it's not a matter of whether he's good enough to beat them. He absolutely is. He can win in a variety of ways, in difficult circumstances, against different defensive approaches.

The question becomes this: Does Jackson have what it takes to win on the biggest of all stages? Besides talent, he's has shown this season the other intangibles often cited as requirements.

So, sure, hang onto that crutch for as long as you can because Jackson is coming for that one too. He doesn't want to talk about the Super Bowl so much anymore, but have no doubt about his intentions.

Or, for a change of pace, we could all just stop talking about this stuff. We could take the Lamar approach.

Stop searching for what Jackson can't do and stop clapping back at those who still tirelessly will. Let's just appreciate one of the most unique and entertaining quarterbacks of our generation. That sounds like more fun.

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