Tua Tagovailoa and Lamar Jackson play the quarterback position differently to try and accomplish the same goal.
I hope you were sitting down for that expert observation of Tua and Lamar Jackson. It takes a keen eye to notice that Tua and Lamar play quarterback in different ways to each other.
And the thing is, regardless of how many talking heads get in line to say that that the way Lamar Jackson and others who play like him are the only way you can win in this league anymore, history especially recent history shows that being a quarterback that just about only throws from the pocket can win Lombardi trophies which is the ultimate goal in case you forgot.
This isn't to say that the style of Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen can't win enough games in a row to win a Super Bowl. They absolutely can. I'm just saying that being a pocket passer shouldn't be deemed as a knock on a guy.
Matt Stafford, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, and others have won Super Bowls over the last 15 years or so and those guys didn't leave the pocket at all except for Roethlisberger here and there.
Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers are the rare exceptions of guys that can run when everything breaks down but they also can pick you apart, surgically, from the pocket all day long if needed.
And it's that phrase "When the play breaks down or off-script" that is in the running for football phrase of the year. Pass winners of that award are RPO, and zero blitz. It seems that you can only be considered an elite QB if you're great at when everything crumbles around you and you can still make a productive play.
I'm not going to lie, I wish Tua had more of an ability to get flushed outside the pocket, keep a play alive with his legs, and hit a guy down the sideline for 45 yards in stride like Josh Allen did to Gabe Davis against the Chargers. Tua isn't likely to ever pull that off and that's okay.
It's okay because I don't think Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson, for an entire game, be able to hit those in-breaking routes over and over again. Sure, they physically can make those throws. No one argues that. I'm saying, can they do it all game long and only miss about two of them because that's what Tua is asked to do every game and typically he does just that.
We've seen games where he does miss a few more than usual and that's usually when the Dolphins struggle. But I've also seen games where Jackson relies too much on his running ability where he doesn't execute the play that was called which we find was executed well only to leave yards and plays on the field.
For whatever reason, when that happens it gets labeled as Lamar is just trying to make a play because he's the only one out there on the Ravens that can.
We hear all the time that players like Lamar and Allen are asked to be Superman out there. I bet if you asked them they would much rather not have to do that because it's really hard especially this time of year. I bet they would love it if their teammates were better and their GM were better and bringing in better players to take some of the pressure off of them. Sadly for them, that mostly hasn't been the case.
For Tua, Chris Grier has done a good job at surrounding him with talented players who make plays. Is that Tua's fault? It shouldn't be. It should be the way it's supposed to happen but naturally, that isn't going to be the case for all teams.
Go right ahead and give the MVP to Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen. They are more responsible for what their offenses do compared to what Tua is asked to do. That can't be disputed. If the fact that they are asked to do more than Tua makes them better than him, fine by me. I really do not care about the MVP. I think we all care more about advancing in the playoffs.
I'm just tired of this idea that in today's NFL, you can only win if the QB can make "Off-script" plays. Does that mean that the play callers for teams that employ those "Off-Script" quarterbacks are bad at calling plays because the QB has to constantly go away from what they practiced all week? Kind of a slap in the face to the coaching staff if you ask me.
The truth is, there is no universal way to win in the playoffs. Whichever team makes the least amount of mistakes while also making a few extra plays than their opponent is usually the team that advances. There are different ways to get the job done and that's a good thing. It makes roster construction more fun.
On Sunday when the Miami Dolphins play the Baltimore Ravens for the #1 seed, we'll get to see which team and quarterback can make a few more plays than their counterpart in a game that will have a playoff atmosphere. I'll be there and it should be a ton of fun.
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