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Lamar Jackson Etches His Name In History Alongside The Great Tobin Rote

Photo: Getty, AP

As purveyors of the Gospel of Lamar Jackson, it is our solemn duty to inform the public whenever the Ravens quarterback elevates himself onto another level of football history. In a 23-17 win over the Bengals on Sunday, the lad did just that by becoming only the fourth-ever quarterback to rush for at least 150 yards in a single game. Here are the other elite names Jackson now stands alongside:

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While being in the same conversation as people like Michael Vick and Colin Kaepernick might be a setback for someone who’s trying to prove he’s more than just a dreaded “mobile quarterback,” those names are more than offset thanks to the inclusion of Tobin Rote.

For those unaware—i.e. everyone—Rote was a quarterback who played professional football for 13 seasons, spending time with the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, and San Diego Chargers. His best statistical season came in 1956 when he threw for a whopping 2,203 yards (led the league), 18 touchdowns (the second consecutive year he led the league in this stat) and 15 picks. Sure, those numbers were only good enough to give the Packers a 4-8 record on the year, tied for last in their division, but they’re still important to note as proof that we’re dealing with a bonafide passer here. Plus, his career is looked upon rather fondly in retrospect. Vince Reedy listed some of the quarterback’s great accomplishments in a 2002 column for the Victoria Advocate where he argued in favor of Rote’s induction into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

Q. In the professional football era preceding the dawn of the Super Bwol, who was the only quarterback to win both NFL and AFL championships, with the Detroit Lions and San Diego Chargers, respectively?
A. Tobin Rote

Q. Who stepped in for injured teammate Bobby Layne and threw for four touchdowns and ran for another in the Lions’ 59-14 rout of Cleveland in the 1957 NFL title game? And, six years later, who passed for two tDs and scored another in the Chargers’ 51-10 shellacking of Boston in the 1963 AFL championship game?
A. Tobin Rote

Q. Who did this same Texas Sports Writers Association select as its 1963 [note: Rote was 35 at the time] Professional Athlete of the Year?
A. Tobin Rote

Q. Which quarterback led the Green Bay Packers in the 1951, ‘52 and ‘56 seasons in both rushing and passing, and long ago earned a place in the Packers Hall of Fame?
A. Tobin Rote

Perhaps the icing on top of all this is how much glowing copy has been written about Rote’s greatness as a passer, and not a single drop of ink was shed arguing that he was too much of a runner to be considered an all-time great quarterback—unlike Vick and Kaepernick.

So the next time you find yourself preparing to make a joke about Jackson being a glorified running back, ask yourself this: would you say the same thing about Tobin Rote?

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