Tyler Huntley Leads Ravens Over Bears in Jackson’s Absence
Quarterback Lamar Jackson was on the injury report all week with an illness, and missed two days of practice before hitting the practice field Friday, leaving many to believe Jackson would be under center on Sunday. But on Saturday night reports surfaced that Jackson’s symptoms returned leaving his status for Sunday’s game up in the air. Jackson arrived at the stadium raising hopes that he would play, but when the inactives were released Jackson’s name was on it. It was now up to second year undrafted quarterback Tyler Huntley to make his first career NFL start, in what many considered a must win for the Ravens.
Previous to Sunday, Huntley had only played in five career regular season games mostly in a relief role of quarterback Lamar Jackson in blowout games. But Sunday was Huntley’s first chance to show the rest of the league he belongs as an NFL starting caliber quarterback.
Huntley wasted no time in getting his first chance to make a statement as the Ravens got the ball first on offense. It was clear from the beginning the Ravens coaches were looking to get Huntley into a groove as the first three plays of the game were designed runs, including a one yard run by Huntley. After an 11 yard pass to Sammy Watkins the drive would stall as the Ravens punted to the Bears.
Bears rookie first round pick Justin Fields looked sharp in his first drive of the game hitting receiver Darnell Mooney for 29-yards down to the Ravens 34 yard line on just the fourth play of the drive. The Bears would gain 18 more yards before Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen stuffed Bears running back David Montgomery in the backfield for a six yard loss on third down. Bears kicker Cairo Santos would attempt a 40-yard field goal but would miss wide left leaving the score tied halfway through the first quarter.
Both Huntley and Fields would struggle to get their respective offenses going, as both teams traded punts to end the first quarter still locked at zero.
On the Bears first possession of the second quarter, Justin Fields would drive the Bears down to the Ravens 36 yard line. On second and five from the Ravens 36, Fields dropped back to pass but was hit from behind by Ravens outside linebacker Tyus Bowser. The ball was jarred loose and recovered by Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell, the first mistake by either team on the day.
The Ravens began their next drive following the fumble on their own 34 yard line, and Huntley would do his best Lamar Jackson impersonation. On third down Huntley dropped back to pass and seeing no one open sprinted out to the left getting out of bounds but not after picking up 19-yards. Two plays later Huntley would find tight end Mark Andrews for 11 yards, and on the next play Huntley again would hit Andrews for an additional 11 yards now down to the Bears 25 yard line. The drive would not go much further and the Ravens would be forced to attempt a 35-yard Justin Tucker field goal. Tuckers kick was successful giving the Ravens their first points and the lead with a little over two minutes remaining in the half.
The Ravens weren’t done scoring in the first half however. After a quick five play drive that amassed only 15 yards. Huntley and the Ravens got the ball back on their own 36 yard line with just over one minute remaining before the half. Huntley found receiver Rashad Bateman for on second down for 12-yards. After a 9-yard pass on third down to Devin Duvernay was short of the line to gain, the Ravens went for it on fourth and one from the Bears 48 yard line. Huntley rushed off the left tackle for 9-yards to keep the drive alive. Huntley would drive the Ravens down to the Bears nine yard line and after an incomplete pass, Justin Tucker would make a 27-yard field goal with just two seconds remaining. The Ravens took a hard fought 6-0 lead into the half.
The Bears began the third quarter with the ball, looking to get on the scoreboard for the first time. On third and long Fields found Darnell Mooney for 22-yards down to the Bears 46 yard line. After a one yard loss and a Fields incomplete pass, the Bears faced another third and long. Fields scrambled to the left before being brought down by Tyus Bowser, five yards short of a first down. Fields however was injured on the play, reported later to be a rib injury. With Fields now out of the game Bears week one starter Andy Dalton was pushed into action as he looked to give some life to a stagnant Bears offense.
Dalton would waste no time doing just that , after a Ravens punt on their next possession, Dalton would hit Darnell Moody on a quick screen to the right side. Mooney turned up field, and would go virtually untouched 60-yards for the Bears first score of the game.
Both teams again would trade punts to end the third quarter, with the Bears taking a 7-6 lead in the fourth.
After the Bears failed to convert on fourth down the Ravens started their first drive of the fourth quarter on the Bears 49 yard line. Huntley found Andrews for 12-yards on the first play of the drive, followed by three straight runs by Latavious Murray and Devonta Freeman. Huntley and the Ravens looked in control as they needed just a field goal to take back the lead. But on second down from the Bears 22 yard line, Huntley would make his first mistake. Huntley rolled out to the right looking to hit Andrews for a first down. A low pass by Huntley caused Andrews to drop to his knees. The ball bounced off of Andrews chest into the stomach of Bears defensive back Tashaun Gipson Sr. for the interception. With points hard to come by on Sunday Huntley’s late interception appeared to be costly.
Andy Dalton and the Bears looked to take complete control, but a quick three and out would give the Ravens another chance. The momentum would swing dramatically back into the Ravens favor as the Bears punt would be tipped by Ravens defensive end Jaylon Ferguson who rushed up the middle. The punt would only go 28-yards to the Bears 45 yard line.
After a big mistake Huntley would get a chance to redeem himself with great field position. Huntley wouldn’t put the ball in the air once on that Ravens possession, as Murray would rush twice and Freeman would rush the ball three times. This time the Ravens would be able to come away with points on a Justin Tucker 46-yard field goal, to take a 9-6 lead with under four minutes remaining.
The Ravens defense who had played well all day needed just one more stop to escape Chicago with a win. The Bears would drive down to the Ravens 48 yard line behind the arm of Andy Dalton. After two straight incompletions and a false start penalty the Bears faced a fourth and long, a stop would give the Ravens the win. On fourth down the Ravens blitzed in hopes of getting to Dalton before he could find an open receiver. Second year corner Chris Westry who was playing in place of an injured Anthony Averett, bit on a double move by Marquise Goodwin. Dalton hit Goodwin wide open for a 49-yard touchdown to take back the lead for the Bears with under two minutes to go. The Bears would go for two, but the attempt would fail.
Now down 13-9, Huntley would need to drive the Ravens 72 yards with two timeouts. Huntley almost made his second costly mistake, a deep pass to a double covered Rashad Bateman was almost intercepted. But the Ravens were bailed out as Bears cornerback Kindle Vildor grabbed Rashad Bateman drawing a pass interference penalty, Vildor’s second such penalty on the day. On the next play Huntley found Duvernay for 21-yards to the Bears 30 yard line. On third down from the Bears 22 yard line Huntley forced a pass to Duvernay that fell incomplete. However, Ravens tackle Alejandro Villanueva was called for a hold. The Bears accepted the penalty to push the Ravens back instead of having a short fourth down. Now third and long with 33 seconds remaining Huntley dropped back and found a wide open Sammy Watkins for 29-yard and a first down to the Bears three yard line. After a Ravens timeout with 25 seconds left, Devonta Freeman took a handoff from Huntley up the middle for the go ahead Ravens touchdown.
With 22 seconds remaining Andy Dalton and the Bears offense took the field needing just a field goal to tie, but with no timeouts the Bears hopes looked bleak. On the Bears first two plays Dalton looked for Darnell Mooney with both passes falling incomplete. After a Ravens timeout Dalton found Marquise Goodwin for 23-yards as the Ravens were in prevent defense. With just three seconds remaining the Bears had a chance at a hail mary with the ball at their own 48 yard line. Dalton dropped back to pass waiting for his receivers to reach the end zone. Dalton would never have a chance to even throw the ball however, as he was met quickly by Tyus Bowser who wrapped Dalton up for the game sealing sack.
Even without Lamar Jackson, the Ravens would get back in the win column with a 16-13 win over the Bears.
The Ravens return home next Sunday night to take on the Cleveland Browns. Just the Ravens second divisional game of the season.
The Ravens became the fourth team in the past 40 seasons to have five or more fourth-quarter comeback win in their first 10 games.
Tyler Huntley became the fourth quarterback in the past 30 seasons to record a game-winning drive in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter in his first career start.
Sunday’s win was the first for the Ravens in Chicago.
The Bears out gained the Ravens 353-299.
Patrick Queen lead the Ravens defense with seven tackles.