Monday, January 30, 2023

Ravens d. Broncos, 23-7


With a long pass completion for a touchdown to Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, the Baltimore Ravens, under the leadership of quarterback Lamar Jackson, defeated the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium Sunday, 23-7. Jackson passed for 316 yards, only the second game in his career with over 300 passing yards.

Embed from Getty Images

Several commentators billed the game as a match between two quarterbacks—the Ravens’ Jackson and the Broncos’ Teddy Bridgewater—with very similar paths to the NFL but different styles.

“On the field, their games are quite different,” Aric DiLalla wrote on the official Broncos website. “Jackson leads the NFL in yards per carry and yards per completion, while Bridgewater has been masterful completing passes and dealing the football to his receivers.”

Another similarity between Jackson and Bridgewater is that both are African American quarterbacks in the NFL.

As Isaiah Adeleke reports in The Voyager, the student newspaper at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Flossmoor, Illinois, even with Jackson’s success and his being named the NFL’s most valuable player, “many teams believe Black quarterbacks are not smart enough to play the position.”

I’m pretty sure no intelligent person ever said that to Jackson, and other naysayers are usually proven wrong, he notes, but it’s more than a little disheartening that Mr Adeleke was able to name almost all the Black quarterbacks he knows in the space of one high school newspaper article.

The reason for so few Black quarterbacks in the NFL, he writes, is that “scouts all the time [tell] Black quarterbacks to switch their position.” For an example, we need look no further than our hometown quarterback. Jackson was looked at as a rusher just a year before he became the league’s MVP.

As with many issues involving racism, Black quarterbacks are often held to a higher standard in terms of their character than their white counterparts. Mr Adeleke writes:

… in the 2021 NFL Draft many scouts were saying Justin Fields does not love football and that tanked his draft stock. No off the field issues, no reason to question his work ethic yet that was the biggest story for the upcoming draft.

However his white counterpart Mac Jones in the same draft class as Fields, hit another car prior to failing a breathalyzer test. Yet many scouting reports had him still going before Fields and Fields not loving football was a bigger issue for most teams than drunk driving.

Both the Ravens and the Broncos are now 3-1 on the season. Bridgewater suffered a concussion in the first half and was replaced at quarterback by Drew Lock.

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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