Huntley Shines In Defeat As Ravens Lose Third Straight
Coming into Sunday the Ravens had their backs against the wall. With two straight losses, and the injuries continuing to pile up, the Ravens needed to somehow win against the best team in the NFC. Without quarterback Lamar Jackson who continues to recover from a sprained ankle, backup Tyler Huntley got his number called again to start his second career game.
Huntley once again showed the NFL why he deserves to be a starter as he passed for 215 yards on 40 attempts, while also rushing for 73 yards on 13 attempts. Huntley led the Ravens with four total touchdowns, two through the air, and two on the ground. But while Huntley picked up the slack on the offense the Ravens defense had a tough task in stopping MVP hopeful Aaron Rodger. Absent for the Ravens was safety Chuck Clark and cornerback Jimmy Smith who were both added to the reserve Covid list. While the Ravens went toe to toe with the best team in the NFL, the Packers were too much on offense as they escaped Baltimore with a close 31-30 win.
Tyler Huntley didn’t have to wait long to get his first crack at the Packers defense, as the Ravens received the opening kickoff. Huntley quickly moved the Ravens into Packers territory, thanks to a Mark Andrews 43-yard catch and run down to the Packers 29 yard line. The Ravens slowly moved closer to the end zone getting inside the Packers five yard line. But after an incompletion on third down, head coach John Harbaugh decided to keep the offense on the field to go for it on fourth and goal from the Packers three yard line. Huntley dropped back to pass but was unable to find an open receiver going down for the sack. After a 14-play 70 yard opening drive the Ravens offense failed to come away with any points in a game where every point would matter.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense took over from their own seven looking to make an early statement against a wounded Ravens defense. But the defense stood strong forcing a quick three and out giving the ball right back to its own offense.
After a kick catch interference penalty against the Packers on the punt, the Ravens took over on the Packers 45 yard line. Huntley found Andrews again this time for 22-yards to the Packers 23 yard line. Just five plays later Huntley hit Andrews for an eight-yard score to give the Ravens a 7-0 first quarter lead.
The Packer offense would respond however on their next offensive possession. Rodgers threw the Packers offense down the field, capping off an 8-play with an A.J Dillon two-yard touchdown run, tying the game at seven early in the second quarter.
Huntley and the Ravens returned to the field picking up right where they left off. A 16-yard run by Latavius Murray on the third play of the drive moved the Ravens to the Packers 39 yard line. Eight-plays later Andrews found the end zone again this time from nine-yards out, his second touchdown of the day giving the Ravens a 14-7 lead midway through the first half.
But as would seem to be the theme of the game, the Packers offense would answer with their own scoring drive. Aaron Rodgers once again used his arm to move the Packers into Ravens territory, showing why he is firmly in the MVP conversation. On third down from the Ravens three yard line, Rodgers found his star receiver Davante Adams for a three-yard score. Once again tying the score this time at 14, with just over a minute remaining in the half.
The Ravens would fail to move the ball on their next possession as they would go three and out giving the ball back to the Packers with 38 seconds remaining.
The Packers however would fail to do anything with their own opportunity to take their first lead punting the ball back to the Ravens all but ending the first half, all knotted up at 14.
The Packers would receive the opening kickoff of the second half looking to take their first lead of the game. Aaron Jones was the focal point for the Packers on their opening second half possession as he rushed the ball five times in the Packers first 10 plays. On third down from the Ravens 21 yard line it looked like the Ravens defense would hold the Packers to a field goal attempt after an Aaron Rodgers incompletion. But a pass interference penalty against Ravens cornerback Kevon Seymour, gave the Packers an automatic first down inside the Ravens 10 yard line. On the very next play Rodgers found his running back Aaron Jones wide open for a nine-yard touchdown giving the Packers a 21-14 lead.
Huntley appeared unfazed being down for the first time all day. Huntley scrambled for 13-yards on the fourth play of the drive, and on the next play found Andrews for 12-yards to the Packers 36 yard line. After a short pass to Rashad Bateman on third down came up one yard short of a Ravens first down, the Ravens looked again to go for it on fourth down inside the redzone. But after a false start by rookie guard Ben Cleveland that made a fourth and short a fourth and six. Harbaugh chose instead to take the point as Justin Tucker came connecting from 38-yards out. The Packers now held a 21-17 lead.
The Packers however were looking to impose their will and continue to put this game out of reach. Rodgers led an 11-play 88-yard drive finishing with an 11-yard touchdown to receiver Marquex Valdes-Scantling to extend the Packers lead 28-17.
The Ravens would once again look to answer with their own points, but the Ravens offense failed to even get one first down gaining only four yards on three plays. In their own territory with possessions running out, the Ravens once again attempted to go for it on fourth down. Huntley scrambled around looking late to Latavius Murray out of the backfield, the pass falling incomplete.
The Packers who had yet to be stopped all day now started their next possession from the Ravens 29 yard line. But when the Ravens needed it most they came through. A third down pass from Rodgers to a diving Allen Lazard fell incomplete forcing the Packers into their first field goal attempt, a much needed stop in this situation by the Ravens. Mason Crosby’s 29-yard field goal attempt was successful to open the Packers lead up now sitting at 31-17.
Huntley and the Ravens returned to the field needing a touchdown to keep hopes alive, and just like he has shown in his three games played this year, Huntley was not scared of such a big moment. A pass interference penalty against the Packers on the first play of the drive moved the ball to the Ravens 41 yard line. Huntley methodically moved the Ravens down field, finding Marquise Brown on five separate occasions, as the Ravens got down to the Packers three yard line. On the next play Huntley dropped back to pass, scrambling left choosing to keep the ball himself as he got into the end zone for the three-yard score.
With the Packers leading now 31-24 with just under five minutes remaining the Ravens defense once again needed to come up with a stop in the games most critical moment. A five-yard Aaron Rodgers scramble on second down would be the only yard the Packers would get on their drive. On third down Rodgers looked to pass but was met my Ravens defensive tackle Justin Madubuike for the sack, just his second sack of the season.
The Ravens once again needed to put a touchdown drive together as they started the drive from the Packers 49 yard line after a poor punt. On the sixth play of the drive Huntley found his favorite target, Andrews for a 12-yard gain to the Packers 11 yard line. After Ravens timeout, Latavius Murray had a three-yard rush on first down. From the Packers eight yard, with just 47 seconds remaining Huntley dropped back to pass, and with little hesitation ran right up the middle eight-yards for the Ravens touchdown. With the score now at 31-30, the Ravens had a decision to make, kick the PAT to tie the game or take the momentum and go for two and the win. John Harbaugh chose to go for two and the win, a similar decision that failed two weeks ago against the Steelers and last Sunday against the Browns. Huntley rolled out to his right looking for Andrews by the pylon. The ball was knocked away, another failed two-point conversion.
The game now relied on the foot of Justin Tucker as he attempted another onside kick. Tucker had his first career successful onside kick last Sunday against the Browns, and looked to get his second. Tucker’s kick didn’t get the bounce that it did last Sunday, as it was easily recovered by the Packers, sealing their 31-30 win.
The Ravens playoff hopes are dwindling as they currently sit at 8-6. Next up on the schedule the Ravens visit the Cincinnati Bengals for the right to first place in the AFC North. Lamar Jackson’s status for next Sunday is still undetermined, but should Jackson miss his second straight game, Huntley has shown his ability to lead this Ravens team and put the in a position to win.
Tyler Huntley became the first player in Ravens history to pass for two touchdowns and rush for two touchdowns in the same game.
Mark Andrews amassed 1,000 receiving yards for the season on Sunday.
Patrick Queen led all Ravens with 13 total tackles.
Aaron Rodgers tied Brett Farve for most career passing touchdowns in team history on Sunday.
Packers receiver Davante Adams was held to 44 yards receiving, his second lowest total of the season.