“This is the most star-studded BUD list ever!”
“First Things First” host Chris Broussard’s “Under Duress” list is back with another week’s worth of pressure-packed action.
This week, only three athletes highlight Broussard’s compilation, but each is under enough stress to suffice for a five-person group. Let’s meet the men who grace Broussard’s countdown this time around.
Lamar Jackson and Aaron Rodgers top Broussard’s under duress list
Ahead of Thursday Night Football’s matchup with Tom Brady and Lamar Jackson, Chris Broussard explains why they’ve made the under duress list this week.
3. Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
The outlook: It’s a big year for Lamar Jackson. LJ8 is betting on himself in a major way, and though Baltimore got off to a fiery start under its dynamic QB, the squad has struggled mightily in recent weeks. And Jackson’s been at the center of it, throwing more interceptions than TDs through the past month, and relinquishing a key fumble against the Giants. Baltimore still has a great chance to gain ground in the AFC North, but the division is as unforgiving as they come. And Jackson will need to be the Ravens’ savior if they’re going to have a shot at redemption.
Broussard’s thoughts: “It looked good a few weeks ago: Lamar betting on himself kind of like Aaron Judge. But it’s not working out the way Judge’s has so far. The last three games, Lamar has failed to complete even 60% of his passes in each game. The last four games, he’s averaged 162 yards passes per game. Three TDs, four INT in those four games, and it’s not he’s lighting it up running the ball. He hasn’t run for 100 yards over the last four weeks. So Lamar’s got to step up. I believe in you Lamar. Let’s get it done.”
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady
The outlook: Not even a roughing passer call could’ve saved Tom Brady for the debacle that was Tampa’s offense in its recent 21-3 loss to Carolina. The Bucs’ offense has been putrid in October, and while several fans were giddy to hear word of Brady’s return to the gridiron this past spring, he now has them wondering if he made the right decision in the first place. But if there’s one thing fans have learned about Brady during his career, it’s that he’s not to be counted out (just ask the Falcons). There’s still plenty of time for a turnaround in Tampa, but Brady needs to take a hard look in the mirror to incite that necessary change.
Broussard’s thoughts: “Yes, the GOAT. He has not been under this much scrutiny maybe ever. Certainly not since Deflategate. … I mean he is really under pressure. A lot of people [are] questioning him. Does he still have it left? Is he washed? Is he all in? Does he still have the locker room? … I do believe Brady gets it done. He always does in these situations. He’s never lost five games in six weeks. I don’t think he’s going to start now.”
1. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
The outlook: There are far more questions than answers in Green Bay right now, but the largest centers around its enigmatic quarterback. The reigning MVP of the league certainly has an abundance of skills left in his back pocket, but he’s yet to consistently put them on display. There are several factors at play in this puzzle: a lack of experienced receivers, a big injury to Randall Cobb, a banged up O-line, and an obvious lack of cohesion between Rodgers and his play-caller. Nonetheless, the focus currently points toward Rodgers, and it’s going to stay that way for the foreseeable future.
Broussard’s thoughts: “Every time he speaks, he seems to stick his foot in his mouth. He’s blamed everyone in Green Bay for this mess except for the shareholders and himself. … Now he said after losing three straight games — one of them to a horrible Washington team with a second-string quarterback — that playing up in Buffalo could be the best thing for the Packers. Now, because the BUD list is about inspiration and motivation and good vibes, I won’t say Buffalo is going to destroy Green Bay. I’ll just say, Aaron — good luck!”
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