Today we honor the best to ever wear the red and black for the Louisville football program, Lamar Jackson. Happy 23rd birthday L-Freaky.
At 23 Lamar Jackson is doing things that no other player has ever done in NFL History.
You know the accolades. Lamar Jackson was a Heisman Winner in 2016, broke nearly every rushing and total yard record during his time at Louisville, was the two-time ACC player of the year, youngest to ever start a playoff game, the first to break Michael Vick’s single-season rushing yards by a quarterback, 1st-team All-pro, youngest QB with perfect passer rating, and soon to be the NFL’s youngest MVP in league history.
It’s amazing and it couldn’t be happening to a better person.
Now with just days until Jackson’s second playoff start and opportunity to completely shatter the “he’s a running back” talk for forever after last season’s loss to the Chargers, no. 8 turns 23.
To honor our GOAT, here are the 23 best moments of Lamar Jackson’s career thus far.
No. 23 – RIP Matt Milano’s ankles. Hello, 1,000-yards.
“Quarterbacks aren’t supposed to run, ever.” – Bill Polian, probably.
1,000-yard rushing seasons aren’t new to Lamar Jackson (or Louisville fans) but they are for the NFL. Only one other quarterback in NFL history had ever crossed the 1,000-yard mark, so when Jackson crossed that plane with his seven-yard run against the Buffalo Bills, it was a major NFL milestone.
It also happened to be the most Lamar-Esque run ever, resulting in the public humiliation of Matt Milano.
No. 22 – Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram give the best Q&A of all time
After putting on a show against the Jets during NFL’s Primetime Thursday Night game, Jackson and his “Anger Translator” Mark Ingram kindly stole the spotlight from FOX sideline reporter, Erin Andrews.
We had already heard Ingram’s thoughts on his quarterback a few weeks prior during a press conference, but this interview took things to a whole new level.
No. 21 – Jackson drops a dime to Jaylen Smith against North Carolina
When we are talking about all-time great Lamar Jackson moments, this perfect dime to wide receiver Jaylen Smith has to be included.
The opponent drew up a perfect blitz, the rush got there, Jackson eluded the rush and stepped into a pass that traveled exactly 50 yards through the air.
Only Smith could have caught the pass en route to a touchdown. You ask why this play?
This to me is the play where the NFL was put on notice that Jackson would be a great passer if he ever got the chance. Therefore, it’s important.
No. 20 – Lamar shares bond with inspiring teen, Amzie Smith, months before her passing
The majority of our list is football-centric, focused on the excellent plays and accolades that Jackson has received throughout his career.
However, Jackson’s growth as a person off the field is what has kept him in good graces with fans, players, and media, and what has endeared him to so many.
Most MVP-type players draw hatred and an overall disdain from a lot of fans simply because fans hate seeing their team lose, and they don’t like the players and coaches who were the cause of their demise.
That could not be further from the truth for Jackson, who has shown humility off the field and opted to shy away from the media, endorsements, and even agents.
Those in the Louisville area saw the tender side of Jackson when he formed a bond with a Louisville girl in 2016.
Amzie Smith was diagnosed with stage four cancer in 2015, and the pleas of her family and friends for Jackson to reach out and show some love were not only answered, but paid attention to.
Smith was able to meet Jackson at a Card March prior to a game in 2016 as she checked off different items on her bucket list- something that Jackson said was “touching,” and hit home with him because of his grandmother’s battle with cancer as a child.