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Instant analysis from Ravens’ 16-13 win over Chicago Bears

Here’s what the Baltimore Sun sports staff had to say immediately after the Ravens’ 16-13 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field:

Jonas Shaffer, reporter: The dominant narrative around the Ravens’ first half of the season was about how Lamar Jackson had turned into the NFL’s comeback kid. On Sunday, it was Tyler Huntley’s turn. The second-year quarterback overcame an unlucky late interception and an aggressive defense to deliver a win in his first career start. With the rest of a demanding second-half schedule, this was not a game the Ravens could lose, not with Justin Fields knocked out, not with so many key Bears players inactive. “Survive and advance” doesn’t usually apply in Week 11, but it did Sunday.

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Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens can campaign on their resiliency, but when are they going to get better? Most of the same weaknesses keep showing up every week. We keep hearing about how the NFL, especially the AFC, is a week-to-week league, but a major key is to get hot by the end of the season. A lot of the strong teams lost in the AFC on Sunday, but those teams have played some quality games followed by some letdowns. The Ravens play the same ragged way every week. It’s not just a question of will, but when. When will this team get better?

Childs Walker, reporter: As soon as news broke that Lamar Jackson was too sick to play, we knew an unsightly win was the best-case scenario for the Ravens. So they’ll fly home a happy group of survivors after Tyler Huntley rallied them to a game-winning touchdown in the final minute.

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They were nearly undone, once again, by amateurish tackling and shoddy downfield coverage on pivotal plays. Huntley overcame a shaky start to lead the Ravens to a 6-0 halftime lead. He could not carry his momentum into the second half as the Bears took advantage of poor pass protection to bury him again and again. The Ravens did not ask him to do a lot on a go-ahead drive earlier in the fourth quarter, instead trusting Justin Tucker to take them home from 46 yards. But Huntley had to make a play at the end, and he stood in against a nasty hit to do it.

We did not learn much from this game. The Ravens are resolute, but they give up too many explosive plays on defense and don’t produce enough on offense. The win was the only thing that mattered in this instance, and they grabbed it.

Ryan McFadden, reporter: In his first career start, quarterback Tyler Huntley was solid despite facing constant pressure from the Bears’ defense. Ravens cornerback Chris Westry had a forgettable day, losing Marquise Goodwin on fourth-and-11 with the game on the line, but outside linebacker Tyus Bowser (two sacks) was a force while the defense and special teams made key plays down the stretch.

C.J. Doon, editor: Sure, it was ugly, but winning with a backup quarterback doesn’t have to be pretty. Tyler Huntley was sacked six times and threw a costly interception in the fourth quarter. The defense continued to give up big plays, including a 60-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and a 49-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-11 from longtime nemesis Andy Dalton with just 1:41 left. But when it mattered most, Huntley led the Ravens down the field for the game-winning touchdown in the final minute, and the defense stood tall when it needed to. Despite a depleted roster, the Ravens are 7-3 in a wide-open AFC. That’s a pretty nice place to be after winning a game without your MVP-caliber quarterback.

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Tim Schwartz, editor: Is it overdramatic to say Tyler Huntley saved the Ravens season? Sure, a loss to the Bears wouldn’t have been a death blow, but back-to-back losses to the Dolphins and Chicago and a 6-4 record would feel a lot different than what the Ravens are looking at now on the same day the Bills lost by 26 to the Colts and the Titans fell to the lowly Texans. Huntley can’t carry this team to the playoffs — and he won’t need to — but he did enough on the final drive to lead the Ravens to another unbelievable victory in what is turning into one of the most wild seasons in team history. How many times can Baltimore stare down a loss and emerge victorious? The Ravens are pushing the limit and it sure is fun to watch. You can’t count them out, no matter who’s under center.

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