Former Utah QB Tyler Huntley Impresses In AFC Divisional Playoffs

After playing extremely sparingly throughout the 2020 regular season, former Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley found himself in control of Baltimore's playoff hopes Saturday night. Unfortunately the Ravens came up short, but Huntley proved he belongs in the NFL
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Tyler Huntley entered Saturday's AFC Divisional game against Buffalo with just three career passes in the NFL.

So when Huntley found himself on the field late in the third quarter with Baltimore trailing 17-3, normally that would be a lot of pressure for anybody. But for Huntley, the former all-Pac-12 quarterback from Utah, is was just another game.

He finished the game 6-for-13 for just 60 yards while adding three carries for 32 yards, but ultimately his comeback attempt fell just short as the Ravens were eliminated following their 17-3 loss to the Bills.

"I was just trying to get warmed up as quickly as I could," Huntley said. "I just tried to help this team and do what I could to get closer and give us a chance. We were just trying to get points on the board, just fighting until the very end. It's an NFL game, so it can go down to the wire, and you have to fight until the end. We've just got to find a way to get that ball in the end zone."

Jan 16, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley (2) throws the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Bills Stadium. The Buffalo Bills won 17-3.

Following the concussion to Ravens starting quarterback Lamar Jackson, Huntley came in on third down and nearly picked up the first down with his legs, forcing a Baltimore punt.

The next drive is when Huntley began to look more comfortable, completing two passes on fourth down that moved the chains. But the play he'll regret most is when he overthrew Hollywood Brown on what would've been a for sure touchdown. 

Huntley did recover on the next series when he hit Brown on third-and-16 to move the chains. He led the Ravens into Buffalo's redzone but two drops by Baltimore ended the drive and ultimately, the season.

"Obviously, you want your best players out there when the game is on the line, but we had confidence in 'Snoop,'" defensive end Calais Campbell said. "I see him in practice, and I see he has potential to be a great player and to see an opportunity, he seized it. He went out there and made some plays and gave us an opportunity. It's inches. ... It's a game of inches, and we just didn't get it done. But we fought hard."

The Baltimore brass clearly has decisions to make regarding their three backup quarterbacks, and one would believe that Huntley is firmly entrenched in those plans moving forward.

Robert Griffin III, who served as the backup for much of the season, finished the year on injured reserve with a hamstring injury and is NOT under contract for next year. Trace McSorley, who began the season as the third-string QB, suffered a season-ending knee injury on December — but has been used very little over the previous two years. 

Huntley's ability to move the pocket, make throws on the run and extend drives with his legs make him the ideal backup to Jackson, something the former MVP took note of throughout training camp and the season.

"I don't want to tell y'all anything about him," Jackson said about Huntley earlier in the season. "I don't need you'll hyping him up. I know what he's capable of doing. We want to keep him under the radar as much as possible."

Dec 20, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley (2) runs during the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium.

Huntley broke out his senior year at Utah, throwing for 19 touchdowns to 4 interceptions with school records of a 73% completion percentage and a 177.5 passer rating. He was named the first-team all-Pac-12 over former Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert (taken by the LA Chargers in the first round) and a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and the Manning Award.

The Draft Network's Joe Marino was a favorite of Huntley's, and believes he's the biggest sleeper at his position in the draft.

"With no Senior Bowl or NFL Scouting Combine invitation, Tyler Huntley, was severely overlooked during the pre-draft process. He was a 33-game starter at Utah and set a single-season record for completion percentage (73.1) as a senior which is extremely impressive considering how frequently he likes to push the football down the field. Huntley blends that deep accuracy with the ability to hit rhythm throws, navigate the pocket while keeping his eyes down the field, keeping the football out of harm's way and showcasing an exciting dual-threat component to win as a runner while extending plays.

Huntley’s modest throwing power, accuracy and frame push him down the board but in many ways, his skill set mirrors the trends of the NFL. Huntley deserves more attention, buzz and to get a real shot to be a developmental quarterback that can make some noise in the league — if he gets that chance," Marino wrote in his article.

Dec 20, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) greets quarterback Tyler Huntley (2) prior to a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium.

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