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Lamar Jackson Threw Away His Shot

Lamar Jackson Threw Away His Shot
From Deadspin - September 17, 2017

If its possible for a reigning Heisman winner to fly under the radar, thats what Louisvilles Lamar Jackson was doing at the beginning of this season. Jackson doesnt interest NFL teams quite like more traditional quarterbacks out westchiefly Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen. Some, including Bill Polian, have said that Jackson has more potential as an NFL receiver than under center, and even without looking forward to the next level, other QBs like Rosen or Baker Mayfield have so far put in more heroic, attention-grabbing performances on TV so far this year.

Last nights Louisville-Clemson matchup was a chance for Jackson to once again get Louisville, who ended last year on a three-game losing streak, in the national conversation. Instead, Jackson found himself completely dominated by a Clemson defense that proved it hasnt lost a step and perhaps has even improved from last years championship unit, as the Tigers took home a 47-21 win. While the game had potential to be a thrilling sequel to one of the best college football games of last year, Louisville was out of it by the third quarter, when Jackson threw a poor, telegraphed ball right to the Clemson defense for a pick-six.

To be fair, in no way does Jackson shoulder all or even most of the blame for this loss. Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant, in his first career road test, looked like the rightful heir to Deshaun Watson, getting pretty much whatever he wanted out of the Cardinal defense and combining with the rushing attack to put up uncatchable numbers. Jackson, for his part, did what he could with a limited supporting cast, showing both evasiveness and a good arm when thrust into tough situations. He made his lone meaningful touchdown look way easier than it should have:

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