When you consider the all-stars of the NFL, a few names immediately come to thoughts: Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow and … Tyler Huntley? Well, possibly not. But the 2023 Pro Bowl Games, the league’s new spin on its annual pre-Super Bowl showcase, will function the Ravens quarterback as one in all three AFC quarterbacks, regardless of the backup enjoying simply six video games in 2022.
How did this occur? And why is Huntley’s inconceivable Pro Bowl berth not almost as maddening because it might sound? We’re so glad you requested.
While the Pro Bowl itself appears to be like completely different this yr, with the NFL testing an expanded abilities competitors alongside a flag soccer match rather than a full-contact exhibition, the choice course of is identical: votes from followers, gamers and coaches are pooled collectively to acknowledge the sport’s finest at every place.
Huntley, in the meantime, was not the primary alternative amongst AFC QBs; in reality, he completed seventh in voting. Mahomes, Burrow and Josh Allen have been the unique Pro Bowl honorees, with Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert tabbed as the highest alternates. Huntley’s fellow Ravens QB Lamar Jackson reportedly completed because the third AFC alternate. But Mahomes is Super Bowl-bound, and all 4 of Allen, Herbert, Jackson and Tagovailoa have been excused because of accidents. Burrow bowed out as properly and will likely be changed by Derek Carr.
Huntley, subsequently, will be a part of fellow alternate Trevor Lawrence and Carr because the AFC’s precise Pro Bowl Games QBs. It’s a surprising “achievement,” little doubt: Huntley helped information the Ravens to a playoff look in 5 begins changing the injured Jackson, saving his finest efficiency (226 passing yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 56 dashing yards) for a 24-17 wild-card loss to the Bengals. But he was completely mediocre in his general run as a substitute starter, going 2-3 whereas throwing simply two TDs and three interceptions, with a 77.2 passer score, through the common season.
And but, his Pro Bowl entry feels at the very least a bit much less unearned when you think about the options: seven QBs deep into the AFC, your most completed 2022 QBs embody the likes of Mac Jones, Ryan Tannehill, Davis Mills and Russell Wilson. Half these veterans is perhaps changed as starters earlier than subsequent season. And within the new Pro Bowl format, the place athleticism takes priority within the abilities competitors, Huntley abruptly stands out as a extra interesting choice.
None of that is to say the voting and choice course of is not nonetheless worthy of critique: when half of a convention’s elite QBs can decide out of participation with relative ease, it begs the query, why trouble in any respect? Maybe, simply possibly, Huntley will show us all incorrect.
He will not be the one participant collaborating within the Pro Bowl Games as a promoted alternate. Here’s a rundown of another notable names — some larger than others — who’ve been elevated to the lineup because of accidents or Super Bowl opt-outs:
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