Lamar Jackson Dubbed 'Fake MVP' by Fans Following Ravens' AFC Championship Defeat

Chiefs' Tactical Shift Highlights Key AFC Championship Moment.

by Nouman Rasool
Lamar Jackson Dubbed 'Fake MVP' by Fans Following Ravens' AFC Championship Defeat
© Patrick Smith/Getty Images

In a performance that has sparked a wave of criticism and skepticism, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson found himself at the center of controversy following his team's 17-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.

This defeat, taking place in the Ravens' own backyard, has raised serious questions about Jackson's candidacy for this season's NFL MVP award, an honor many now believe he may not deserve. The Ravens' offense, normally a powerhouse, appeared unusually lackluster throughout Sunday's game.

Despite Jackson's heroic efforts in the first half, which included a remarkable play where he caught his own tipped pass for a first down and a 30-yard touchdown pass to Zay Flowers, the overall team performance was marred by sloppiness and missed opportunities.

Lamar Jackson's performance was a blend of brilliance and blunders. Despite showcasing his trademark agility, his crucial turnovers—a fumble and a risky interception—hampered the Ravens' comeback hopes. With a completion of 20 out of 37 passes for 272 yards and a touchdown offset by an interception, plus 54 rushing yards, Jackson's efforts ultimately fell short of changing the game's outcome.

Reid's Conservative Strategy

A telling moment of the game came from Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid's decision to adopt a conservative play-calling strategy in the second half. Reid's choice to focus on running down the clock, rather than aggressively pursuing third and long plays, reflected a lack of belief in Jackson's ability to rally his team to a tie or a win.

While Jackson is widely expected to clinch his second NFL MVP award in February, Sunday's performance has cast a shadow over his season's achievements. His regular-season stats are undeniably impressive: 3,678 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, and seven interceptions, complemented by 821 rushing yards and five additional touchdowns.

Yet, his playstyle, so dominant in the regular season, once again fell short of delivering Super Bowl-level success. NFL fans are fiercely divided over Lamar Jackson's MVP worthiness. While some praise his regular-season brilliance, others argue that playoff performance is what truly defines a quarterback's legacy.

Patrick Mahomes' contrasting success has further fueled this debate. Post-AFC Championship, perceptions of Jackson have changed; once celebrated as a game-changer, he now confronts doubts and criticism, with many fans questioning his elite status after the recent loss.

Lamar Jackson Ravens Chiefs