ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said Ravens QB Lamar Jackson pulled a "choke job" in the AFC Championship, and Shannon Sharpe didn't argue the point. Photo Credit: ESPN, First Take Photo Credit: ESPN, First Take

ESPN’s First Take host Stephen A. Smith didn’t want to say what he said about Lamar Jackson Monday, but he said it anyway.

Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens fizzled in a 17-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Sunday, continuing a trend of rough postseason performances.

Jackson wasn’t terrible, and to be clear, the Ravens had turnovers and penalties that were devastating, but the quarterback didn’t play up to the level that has made him the overwhelming favorite to win his second NFL MVP Award.

Smith said there is a definition for how Jackson played.

“Lamar Jackson has a passer rating below 80 in five of the six playoff games he’s been in,” Smith said. “Now that is nothing compared to what this man does during the regular season. … There’s no other way around it, it hurts me to say it, but it’s a choke job.

“What’s the definition of choking … It’s when you perform exceptionally until the moment arrives, and then you perform badly. That is what epitomizes choking, and it’s what we saw yesterday.”

Fellow analyst Sharpe wasn’t much kinder in his assessment of Jackson.

“I believe there’s still a chance that Lamar can get to and win a Super Bowl because he has that kind of ability. But in big moments, Lamar Jackson has yet to show up when the team absolutely needs him to,” Sharpe said. “We have yet to see Lamar Jackson in big moments, when it matters most … play well.”

“Until Lamar Jackson quiets the critics, they’re going to talk loud, and they’re going to get more and more bullhorns.”

[FirstTake; Photo Credit: ESPN]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.