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Mailbag: How Does the Game-Plan Change With Tyler Huntley?

QB Tyler Huntley
QB Tyler Huntley

Mink: First of all, I don't think we should assume that yet. But if that were to be the case, the beauty of having Tyler Huntley as the backup is that not much, if anything, has to change in terms of game-planning. Given that Huntley plays with a similar style, the Ravens can operate the same way.

The only difference I could imagine is fewer designed runs for Huntley. Lamar Jackson is a special runner and the Ravens trust putting the ball in his hands, even between the tackles. Given Huntley's fumbling issues, I'm not sure the same level of trust has been established.

The Ravens have never prepared a game-plan, at least for the regular season, around Huntley. So we don't really know what would be different. But it will be very interesting to see.

Downing: The rookie first-round pick sure looked like a player with a lofty ceiling Sunday as his big plays helped the Ravens get back in that game against Cleveland. The Ravens drafted the wide receiver in the first round because they had belief in his ability to be a game-changing player for this offense. He's shown that potential this season, particularly when it comes to making contested catches and fighting for extra yards. Bateman has 32 catches for 404 yards in eight games, which is a solid start to his career considering he missed essentially all of training camp, the preseason and the first five games after core muscle surgery.

Bateman sure looks like a player who could top 1,000 receiving yards in a season and give the Ravens a dynamic one-two punch alongside Marquise Brown. The fact that he returned from the surgery and immediately stepped into an important role showed that he was an NFL-ready receiver, and he'll only get better from here. Bateman looks worthy of a first-round pick, and it seems like he'll be a playmaker on this team for the foreseeable future.

Mink: I think the magic number is 10. If they win two of their remaining four games, I expect the Ravens will secure a playoff spot, even if that's a wild-card spot. If they beat the Bengals and Steelers, I expect they will win the division.

Now, will the Ravens do it? They'll probably only be favored in one more game the rest of the way, versus the Steelers to close out the season. This Sunday's game against Green Bay seems to be the toughest to win given the current circumstances. But given what I've seen this season, there's no way that I'm ruling the Ravens out. This team can beat anybody anytime, even with widespread injuries. That's just the way they're wired and I don't see any infallible teams out there.

Downing: There are a few assumptions that I don't necessary agree with. First of all, the Ravens would only put Jackson back on the field if he's medically cleared to return from the ankle injury. If he can't play, then he won't. Also, we're talking about a sprained ankle here. Based on the reports and what the Ravens have said, this doesn't seem to be an injury with long-term concerns. And lastly, I don't buy the notion that the Ravens would be one-and-done in the playoffs. The postseason is difficult to predict. When the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2012, they were underdogs to the Broncos, Patriots and 49ers. Just because the Ravens have lost two-straight games, you can't assume that will continue into the playoffs.

I've said this many times: Just get into the dance and you never know what can happen. The Ravens are fighting for their playoff lives right now, and they need to do everything they can to get into the postseason for the fourth-straight year.

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