‘The game ain’t played on paper:’ Trevor Lawrence weighs in on rankings disrespect

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) runs past Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark (55) during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) (Charlie Riedel, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The disrespect was felt all across social media and beyond this week.

Is Trevor Lawrence really the 13th-best quarterback ... in the AFC?

Good Morning Football host Kyle Brandt thinks so. And that revelation as Brandt released his tiers of quarterbacks in the AFC left quite a bit to digest, especially for Jaguars fans.

Brandt had Lawrence rated in the second-lowest tier, sixth of seven … in the conference. Lawrence weighed in on the perceived disrespect on Thursday, tweeting, “The game ain’t played on paper.”

Lawrence had an uneven start to his second season in the NFL, but had a sizzling finish. Jacksonville was 3-7 at the bye, then went on a tear. The Jaguars won six of their last seven games, including a 20-16 comeback win over the Titans to win the AFC South in Week 18. The Jaguars then stunned the Chargers, 31-30, in the AFC wild-card game, a win that capped a comeback from a 27-point deficit.

Lawrence finished the season with 4,113 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His win over the Chargers came against Justin Herbert, who was rated as a Tier 3 quarterback by Brandt.

No one could dispute his top two tiers — Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes was alone in Tier 1, with Joe Burrow (Bengals) and Josh Allen (Bills) slotted in Tier 2. Even Tier 3 seems somewhat on point with Aaron Rodgers (Jets), Lamar Jackson (Ravens) and Herbert (Chargers) in that level.

After that … chaos.

In Brandt’s Tier 4, Russell Wilson (Broncos) and Deshaun Watson (Browns). In Tier 5 was Jimmy Garoppolo (Raiders). All the way down in Tier 6 were second-year player Kenny Pickett (Steelers), New England’s Mac Jones, Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa and then Lawrence.

The only quarterbacks in the AFC rated lower than Lawrence were rookies CJ Stroud (Texans), Will Levis (Titans) and Anthony Richardson (Colts).

As expected, the slight didn’t go unnoticed across Jacksonville or in NFL social media circles. Jaguars receiver Jamal Agnew was asking for the punchline on the rankings.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.