The Steelers will travel to take on the Baltimore Ravens for the season finale, but luckily for Pittsburgh, they won’t have to defend current NFL MVP favorite Lamar Jackson. Having locked up the No. 1 seed in the AFC already, the Ravens have elected to rest their star quarterback in Week 18, Jeff Zrebiec of the Athletic reports. That means Jackson will get two weeks of rest before taking on the lowest remaining seed in the Divisional Round of the 2023 NFL playoffs.
In his place, they’ll start backup Tyler Huntley, with Josh Johnson suiting up as his No. 2. Johnson. Huntley has made nine total regular and post-season starts with the Ravens, going 3-6 overall. More specifically, Huntley has started three career games against the Steelers, going 1-2 in such starts, including splitting their series back in 2022.
Huntley’s averaged just 119.7 passing yards per game against the Steelers, totaling one touchdown and four interceptions in those games, though it’s worth noting he did play just 62% of offensive snaps in their first meeting last season due to a concussion. The Ravens led 13-7 before his departure. Huntley’s greatest threat will likely be on the ground, similar to Jackson with his dual-threat ability, averaging 8.9 rush attempts and 43.2 yards per game over his nine career starts.
Huntley’s greatest claim to fame might just be his standing as a 2022 Pro Bowler... for reasons those outside of Baltimore are still trying to figure out. After a number of quarterbacks opted out of the NFL Pro Bowl Games last season, Huntley was named to the roster representing the AFC, having played a handful of games in place of Jackson, who missed the final six games of 2022 with a knee injury. He went 2-2 in his starts with limited production as a passer.
Regardless of who gets the start at quarterback, this is a team that has found ways to win on both offense and defense and is not an opponent to take lightly by any stretch of the imagination. The Steelers currently stand as four-point road favorites over the Ravens, with the point total installed at 35.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook.