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Tyler Huntley gave the Ravens an opportunity in opposition to the Bengals, till he didn’t

Not many gave the Baltimore Ravens a lot of an opportunity to upset their divisional rival Cincinnati Bengals within the Wild Card spherical of the playoffs. The Bengals had been driving a seven-game successful streak into the postseason and had been 8.5-point favorites. The Ravens, in the meantime, had been with out star quarterback Lamar Jackson and sputtered down the stretch with backup Tyler Huntley behind middle.

But the Ravens outplayed the Bengals for a lot of Sunday evening. They outgained their rivals 364 to 234 yards, they averaged much more yards per play (5.5) than the Bengals (4.3), and Huntley was even outdueling All-Professional Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.

After shaking off an early interception, Huntley gave the Ravens offense life. He led the Ravens on a formidable 17-play, 75-yard drive bringing Baltimore inside two factors early. A couple of minutes later, he was in a position to orchestrate a two-minute drill to provide the Ravens an unbelievable 10-9 lead on the half.

When the Bengals got here out firing within the second half, Huntley was up for the struggle. After Burrow retook the lead for Cincinnati late within the third quarter, the Ravens quarterback answered simply three minutes later with a 41-yard landing bomb to Demarcus Robinson to tie the sport up.

Then got here the pivotal drive within the recreation. At first, the drive had all of the makings of a career-changing second for Huntley. He dropped a go proper within the bucket to tight finish Mark Andrews for a 25-yard acquire on third-and-1. On the very subsequent play, he took a learn possibility for 35 yards all the best way down the the Bengals 2-yard line. He was six toes away from giving the Ravens a landing lead over their division rivals with lower than 13 minutes left within the recreation.

Three performs later, it was the Bengals who had a lead wherein they’d not relinquish the remainder of the sport.

Between these moments, Huntley made a essential error that price the Ravens their season. Going through a third-and-goal from the one, the Ravens dialed up a quarterback sneak. However quite than put his head down and push ahead, Huntley made his personal resolution to attempt to leap over the pile. There, Bengals linebackers Germaine Pratt and Logan Wilson had been ready for him. Wilson punched the ball out of Huntley’s palms, and it conveniently landed in Cincinnati defensive finish Sam Hubbard’s palms, who turned and ran 98 yards for the go-ahead rating.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh confirmed after the sport that the design of the play was to go low.

“It wasn’t executed simply the appropriate approach,” Harbaugh mentioned. “Tyler went excessive. That’s a burrow play. He’s acquired to go low on that. That’s the best way the play’s designed.”

Huntley mentioned he thought the protection was giving him sufficient room excessive, however he needs he had gone low on the play.

“Yeah, possibly they wouldn’t have returned all of it the best way,” Huntley mentioned. “However on the time, I simply felt like everybody was packed in, they shot for our linemen’s legs, the (line)backers simply felt fairly good up on the road, and I simply tried to make a play.”

The Ravens are within the midst of a quarterback disaster. Jackson is on an expiring contract, and Baltimore has failed to achieve an settlement with the previous MVP in two offseasons of negotiations. Whereas Baltimore has insisted they may re-enter negotiations when the time is correct, some have questioned Jackson’s curiosity in returning primarily based on him sitting the previous six video games with a knee damage. Extra questions had been raised on Sunday evening when the NBC broadcast reported Jackson didn’t even journey with the group for the Wild Card recreation.

Harbaugh didn’t touch upon Jackson’s state of affairs after the sport, solely providing reward for Huntley—who was coping with a pair of accidents on his personal—for a gutsy effort in a troublesome place.

“I feel coming off the shoulders and the wrist accidents and preventing his approach again onto the sector and simply giving it all the things he had (in) that sort of a efficiency.”

The Ravens head again to Baltimore to determine the place to go from right here, and the Bengals advance to face the Payments within the Divisional spherical.



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