Imagine a world when you wake up a day after a quarterback tossed it for over 300 yards, with three touchdowns to just one interception, and thinking that gunslinger is awful.

That is a world many people have decided to inhabit. It is a dumb world.

Lamar Jackson led Louisville as best he can against one of the best defenses in the entire nation on Saturday. The Clemson Tigers might have the best front-seven in all the land, and despite the offensive line giving him zero time in the pocket, Lamar Jackson still looked fine.

The Cardinals lost to the Tigers, but it wasn't due to the fact that Jackson was bad — because he wasn't.

Clemson sacked Jackson four times. That doesn't account for the handful of other times he was given no time.

Despite that, he finished the night of 21-of-41 passing for 317 yards with three touchdowns and just one INT (it was a pick-six). Oh, he also had 17 carries for 64 yards. The Cardinals as a team rushed 25 times for 117 yards.


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But yeah … let's blame him.

Being last season's winner of the Heisman Trophy, coupled with a ton of hype, it is somewhat natural to want to blame Jackson for the Louisville woes on Saturday. Alas, we could also look at receivers dropping passes or the fact he was playing an insanely good Clemson team.

To be Camp Crystal Lake clear: Jackson wasn't phenomenal. This wasn't a game he will remember fondly years down the road. Still, he wasn't as bad as many are making it out to be. This wasn't Josh Rosen tossing off his back foot five times in a game UCLA was meant to win. It was Jackson, in a Herculean effort, trying to beat a team Louisville wasn't supposed to.

Clemson is, after all, a better team from an overall standpoint. The only clear edge UL had was Lamar Jackson, who had to run for his life because Clemson's defense was bursting through the QB's protectors as if there were literal holes in them.

Lamar Jackson is GOOD.

The Louisville QB was NOT awful on Saturday.

Do NOT make an argument that he's more an NFL receiver than gunslinger.