It's been rough sailing for the Baltimore Ravens over the past few weeks. They have seen themselves get knocked off their perch atop the AFC North division because of consecutive losses. They are also without their best player in Lamar Jackson, who missed Week 15's date with the Green Bay Packers. The Ravens put up a gallant stand in the loss to the Packers, though, so at least they have a moral victory as a silver lining of sorts. But moral victories don't reflect on the standings. Baltimore will look to get back in the win column in Week 16, but for now, let's have a look at some of the Ravens' Week 15 takeaways from their loss to Green Bay Sunday.
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Baltimore Ravens Week 15 Takeaways
1. Tyler Huntley is going to get the bag soon
Huntley is starting to turn heads. A virtual unknown to casual NFL fans when he stepped in for the Ravens when Lamar Jackson got hurt in the middle of the game against the Cleveland Browns back in Week 14 on the road, Huntley is proving that he can be more than just a backup in the pros.
In that game against the Browns, he passed for a touchdown and 270 yards, while completing 71.1 percent (27/38) of his passes. If that looked like a fluke performance to some, Huntley made the same people reassess their perception of him in Week 15's matchup against the Packers. Up against the Packers' tough pass defense, Huntley started in lieu of Jackson and tossed a gem. The 23-year-old finished with 215 passing yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions on 28/40 completions. Moreover, he paced the Ravens with 73 rushing yards and two rushing scores on 13 rushing attempts, though his effort was not enough to avoid a 31-30 loss.
Huntley failed to complete a 2-point conversion try late in the game, which would've given the Ravens the win, Nevertheless, he was instrumental to Baltimore keeping in step with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
Huntley is under contract with the Ravens until the end of the 2021 NFL season, and while Baltimore has exclusive rights on him in upcoming free agency, he might have shown more than enough to warrant a look from quarterback-needy teams once his time comes to be an unrestricted free agent.
All that being said…
2. The Ravens need Lamar Jackson ASAP
As good as Huntley has been under center for the Ravens of late, the team is still at its best when Jackson is orchestrating the offense. He is the more dynamic and experienced quarterback between him and Huntley, whose time will come, but it's not going to be in this season.
Baltimore's loss to the Packers coupled with the Cincinnati Bengals' win over the Denver Broncos caused the Ravens to slide down to no. 2 in the AFC North and fourth in the wild card race in the conference. If the Browns win Monday night against the Las Vegas Raiders, that will put bigger pressure on the Ravens to start winning again.
Jackson hurt his ankle in Week 14's loss to the Browns, but the fact that he has not been put on the injured reserve offers hope that he will finally get back on the field in Week 16 against the Bengals.
3. Mark Andrews is a beast
It's a shame that the Ravens came awfully close to beating the Packers. For one, Mark Andrews was an unstoppable force downfield for Baltimore and his monster effort ended up getting wasted. Well, not really. By finishing with 136 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 10 catches and 13 targets, Andrews strengthened his case as among the best tight ends in the game today.
There's George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers, Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs, Darren Waller of the Las Vegas Raiders, and Mark Andrews of the Ravens. He belongs in that conversation as among the best TEs in the NFL. After all, he is currently second in the NFL among TEs in both receiving yards and touchdowns.
Andrews will enter the rematch against the Bengals in Week 16 with 251 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 21 catches over the last two games. Regardless of who starts under center next Sunday for the Ravens, expect Andrews to be heavily relied upon by the team's passing attack. He was not targeted a lot in the first meeting with the Bengals, a 41-17 home loss in Week 7, as he pulled down three of seven targets for 48 receiving yards. But given how he's fared of late, it's not a stretch to think that another huge performance is coming from the former Oklahoma Sooners star.