Backup QB Tyler Huntley proves he can be a 'special player' in Ravens' loss to Packers

The Baltimore Ravens couldn’t quite pull off a stunning comeback against the NFC No. 1 seed Green Bay Packers, but on the bright side, Tyler Huntley looked like he could be a future starting QB down the road.

Lamar Jackson’s backup, making his second start of the season, shined, as he gashed a heretofore good Packers defense with both his arm and legs. Huntley completed 28 of 40 passes for 215 yards and two pass TDs, and rushed for 73 yards and two additional scores on 13 carries. Jackson has never had a 2-pass and 2-rush TD day in his career.

Following the 31-30 loss, which essentially ended on a Ravens two-point try, coach John Harbaugh beamed about his young quarterback.

“You have to have two quarterbacks that can win for you,” Harbaugh said, via the team’s official website. “Tyler is playing that kind of football. He played really well. I thought today, he took another step forward, just in terms of handling himself, operating on time in rhythm, taking off and running at the right time, accurate throws, all of those things. He took a big step. There’s a lot to be said for experience. Repetition really makes a big difference, and he’s a quick learner.”

The Ravens moved the ball up and down the field, outgaining Aaron Rodgers and the Packers 354 yards to 346. Baltimore punted just once, and if it weren’t for two missed fourth downs, the tenor of the contest could have been entirely different.

The Huntley-led offense had more rhythm than we’ve seen out of Baltimore since … October? The signal-caller was in a groove, getting the ball out short and on time before the Green Bay pass rush could get home. Early, the Ravens utilized a quick-pass attack as opposed to more designed QB runs it uses with Lamar.

When Huntley needed a play, he looked to star tight end Mark Andrews, who generated 10 catches for 136 yards and two first-half TDs.

“He’s a special player,” Andrews said of Huntley. “I think everybody on the field feels a connection with him. He puts the ball where it needs to be, his eyes are great. Being behind a guy like Lamar, you learn a ton, and he’s been able to absorb all these different things. I think he’s going to be a superstar in this league for a long, long time.”

The Ravens offense fits Huntley like a glove. Finally, when Jackson has to miss a game or snaps, Baltimore doesn’t have to worry about completely overhauling the play sheet. Huntley can run it all.

Following a failed Baltimore fourth down at its own 29-yard-line, the Packers kicked a field goal to go up 31-17, and the game felt over. But Huntley unleashed a host of dynamic runs, rifled several passes on the move, and scored two quick rushing TDs to set up a potential go-ahead two-point try.

“Really poised, man,” running back Latavius Murray said. “We’ve got a ton of confidence in him. I love the way he plays, so when you’ve got two guys at that position who you know you can rely on, you know you’ve always got one hell of a chance to go out there and score points and not miss a beat on offense. We like our chances every time we go into a game. ‘Snoop’ [Huntley] was just doing what he does.”

Huntley zeroed in on Andrews on the two-point try, missing Marquise Brown coming wide open across the middle after the safety sprinted after the TE. It’s the play Huntley will make with more reps.

“I can feel the guys around me feeling more confident in me,” Huntley said. “I think they’ve got a lot more confidence in me than I’ve got in myself. It’s a good thing, though.”

An exclusive rights free agent in 2022, there is zero chance the Ravens will let Huntley out the door next year. He’s proven he can be one of the greatest commodities in football: a backup QB capable of running the offense and providing dynamic ability when the starter is out.

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