Tagged in: devonta freeman

Tyler Huntley orchestrates game-winning drive, leads Lamar Jackson-less Baltimore Ravens to win over Chicago Bears

Tyler Huntley found out he was going to start at quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday when he received a text from Lamar Jackson on his way to board the bus to Soldier Field.

“Go do your thing today. I’m going to be watching.”

A few hours later, Huntley showed the football world that the Ravens can win without the 2019 NFL MVP, rallying Baltimore to an improbable 16-13 triumph over the Chicago Bears.

Huntley became the fourth quarterback over the past 30 seasons to record a game-winning drive in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter in his first career start, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

With Baltimore down 13-9, Huntley’s 30-yard pass to Sammy Watkins set up the go-ahead, 3-yard touchdown run by Devonta Freeman with 22 seconds left in the game.

“I think if I was feeling the pressure, we probably wouldn’t have won this game,” Huntley stated after the game. “You got to go with the flow about winning the game. We knew we had to go down there and score.”

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Jackson missed the third game of his four-year career because of congestion in his lungs, a source told ESPN. The Ravens had believed Jackson would play after he fully participated in Friday’s practice, but all of the symptoms returned on Saturday.

On the flight to Chicago, Jackson was curled up in a ball in his seat and was feeling so sick that he didn’t realize the plane had landed. He didn’t attend any meetings Saturday night.

The Ravens were hoping that Jackson would improve by Sunday morning, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh stated Jackson “felt worse.”

Harbaugh doesn’t consider this illness will sideline Jackson long term.

“There’s no influenza, there’s no COVID,” he said. “I don’t know. I’m sure if it doesn’t clear up, they’ll keep testing him, but you got to think that it’s going to clear up. We’ll pray for that.”

Jackson was the first player to congratulate Huntley when he walked into the locker room.

With the Titans and Bills losing, the Ravens remain in the hunt for the AFC’s top seed. Baltimore (7-3) moved within a half-game of Tennessee (8-3) for the top spot in the conference because it found a way to win without Jackson, who had accounted for 82.8% of its offense (3,086 of 3,727 yards) this season.

“A lot of times, when you think of the Baltimore Ravens, you think Lamar Jackson, because he’s done so much for us,” Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey said. “But man, it was really special to see [Huntley] step up, a couple of guys on defense step up. Just all around, it seems like we didn’t really flinch.”

Huntley, who went undrafted out of Utah in 2019, completed 26 of 36 passes (72%) even though the Bears came after him. He was blitzed on 28 of 44 dropbacks (64%), which is the highest blitz rate by a team this season.

The Ravens became the fourth team in the past 40 seasons to record five or more fourth-quarter comeback wins in their first 10 matches. This time, it wasn’t because of a magical play by Jackson. It was the heroics of Huntley, who watched 13 quarterbacks get drafted over him in 2020.

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New York Giants adding Devonta Freeman on 1-year deal

The New York Giants are signing former Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman after losing Saquon Barkley for the campaign.

Freeman and the Giants agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $3 million, Freeman’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday.

Freeman is projected to sign the contract Wednesday morning, practice with the Giants later Wednesday and could play as soon as Sunday.

“Devonta turned down more money from other teams because he likes the opportunity with the Giants best,” Rosenhaus told Schefter.

Barkley tore the ACL in his right knee in Sunday’s 17-13 loss to the Chicago Bears. Dion Lewis played every snap in his absence.

Freeman, 28, spent the first six years of his career with the Atlanta Falcons. He has two 1,000-yard rushing seasons (2015-16) and has averaged 4.2 yards per carry throughout his career. But Freeman had 656 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 184 carries (3.6 average) last season. The Falcons let him walk as a free agent this offseason and instead signed Todd Gurley.

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Freeman had other chances this offseason.

He turned down a deal that could have been worth $3 million with the Seattle Seahawks and recently visited with the Philadelphia Eagles.

But the Giants offer Freeman the best opportunity for touches with Barkley lost for the campaign. They have Lewis and Wayne Gallman on the active roster. Veteran Rod Smith is on the practice squad.

“Wayne and Dion are definitely guys that will factor in,” coach Joe Judge stated Monday. “We’ll work to their strengths — they are two different types of backs. Both of them have a degree of toughness. Wayne’s got that long speed, get him ranging out and get him really moving.

Dion’s got that real good short-area quickness and burst to get going. He does a great job of finding small seams and getting through the hole. They are both different guys; we’re going to have to work with what they do well to give them an opportunity to be successful.”

Now add Freeman, who visited the Giants on Tuesday, to the mix.

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