Tyler Huntley orchestrates winning campaign and leads Baltimore Ravens without Lamar Jackson to defeat Chicago Bears
CHICAGO – Tyler Huntley found out he was going to start as the Baltimore Ravens quarterback on Sunday when he got a text from Lamar Jackson as he was on the bus to Soldier Field.
“Go do your thing today. I’ll watch.
Hours later, Huntley showed the footballing world that the Ravens can win without the 2019 NFL MVP, rallying Baltimore to an unlikely 16-13 victory over the Chicago Bears. Huntley became the fourth quarterback in the past 30 seasons to record a winning run in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter on his first career start, according to the Elias Athletic Bureau.
With Baltimore down 13-9, Huntley’s 30-yard pass to Sammy Watkins set up the go-ahead, a 3-yard touchdown executed by Devonta Freeman with 22 seconds left in the game.
“I think if I felt the pressure we probably wouldn’t have won this game,” Huntley said after the game. “You have to go with the flow to win the game. We knew we had to go out there and score.”
Jackson missed the third game of his four-year career due to congestion in his lungs, a source told ESPN. The Ravens had believed Jackson would play after fully participating in Friday’s practice, but all symptoms returned on Saturday.
On the flight to Chicago, Jackson was curled up curled up in his seat and feeling so ill he didn’t realize the plane had landed. He did not attend any meeting on Saturday night.
The Ravens were hoping Jackson would improve by Sunday morning, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Jackson “was feeling worse.”
Harbaugh doesn’t think this disease will sideline Jackson in the long run.
“There is no flu, there is no COVID,” he said. “I don’t know. I’m sure if it doesn’t clear up, they’ll keep testing it, but you must think it’s going to clear up. We’ll pray for that.”
Jackson was the first player to congratulate Huntley when he entered the locker room.
With the Titans and Bills losing, the Ravens remain in search of the AFC seed. Baltimore (7-3) moved half a game away from Tennessee (8-3) for first place in the conference because he found a way to win without Jackson, who had made up 82.8% of his offense (3,086 from 3,727 yards) this season.
“A lot of times when you think of the Baltimore Ravens you think of Lamar Jackson, because he’s done so much for us,” said Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey. “But man, it was really special to see [Huntley] step up, a few guys in defense are stepping up. All around it looks like we haven’t really flinched. “
Huntley, who was not drafted from Utah in 2019, completed 26 of 36 assists (72%) even though the Bears chased him. He was blitzed on 28 of 44 dropbacks (64%), which is the highest blitz rate by a team this season.
“I know everyone around our facility, this organization knows how good he is,” Ravens tight end Mark Andrews said. “And when he gets the chance – what he did [Sunday] – that he was going to perform and shine. But it’s great for the world to see. It’s a coming out night for him, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. “
The Ravens became the fourth team in the past 40 seasons to record five or more fourth quarter wins in their first 10 games. This time it wasn’t because of a magic piece from Jackson. It was the heroism of Huntley, who saw 13 quarterbacks drafted against him in 2020.
Huntley will frame his game ball with his jersey.
“Me sitting where I was, waiting for the draft call or whatever, I felt like I would never get to this point,” Huntley said. “I am here. So, I am blessed.”