What Tyler Huntley Credits for His 'Masterful' Preseason Play

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley (2) looks to pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz.

Just about the only unsuccessful play Tyler Huntley ran Sunday night in Arizona was when he tried to get the Cardinals to jump offsides in a fourth-and-short situation.

Huntley tried about every fake “hike” call in the book before jogging off the field laughing when the Cardinals didn't bite.

Huntley has been on fire this preseason, showing the Ravens and the rest of league his value as a top-flight backup in Baltimore who could be a starter elsewhere.

Huntley was 13-of-14 for 129 yards and a touchdown in the first half Sunday night against the Cardinals. He's had just three incompletions in the first two preseason games, going 29-for-32 for 238 yards and two touchdowns overall.

After the second preseason game, Harbaugh said Huntley played "masterfully." Asked what Huntley has improved on specifically since last year, Harbaugh couldn't point to one thing.

"You have to improve across the board," he said. "The timing, the precision is really continuing to go on a trajectory that you want to see. We've seen that in both preseason games. The way that he's operating the offense, communication has been really good. He's getting out and scrambling and making plays with his feet and keeping the defense honest that way."

On the Ravens' opening drive, Huntley stepped up in the pocket to elude an outside rush, then extended the play by rolling to his right before finding a wide-open Makai Polk for a 19-yard gain on third-and-15.

Huntley led a touchdown drive on his final full series before the end of the half, linking up with rookie tight end Isaiah Likely four times and capped by an 8-yard touchdown rip between three defenders.

Making plays is nothing new for Huntley. When he took over for Lamar Jackson down the stretch last season, Huntley kept the Ravens in every game despite heavy injuries around him. Huntley scored five touchdowns (including two on the ground) to four interceptions.

This year, Huntley looks more poised and decisive under center.

"I think the experience definitely plays a part in it," he said. "Just going on my third year, I've seen a couple different defenses, and I've got a great feel for the offense right now, and I'm just taking what the defense gives me, and it's continuing to work time after time. So, I'll just continue to build on that."

Asked what he wants to prove this preseason, Huntley said, "I'll just say I just want to continue to show that I can play great quarterback play."

Huntley's strong preseason, coupled with what he showed last season, has some pundits wondering whether teams will reach out to the Ravens with trade offers.

With Jackson sitting out the first two games of the Ravens' preseason, and potentially the third as well, Baltimore's 22-game preseason winning streak rides on Huntley's shoulders to some extent. He said "it means a lot to us" and that they're trying to win every time they take the field.

"He's a competitor," Harbaugh said. "You love all the things about him, but probably that the most."

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