Theory emerges for how Tyler Huntley made Pro Bowl
Baltimore Ravens backup quarterback Tyler Huntley made the Pro Bowl this season in one of the most surprising developments surrounding the exhibition game.
Huntley was voted as the fourth alternate on the AFC Pro Bowl roster. That happened even though Huntley hadn’t thrown for a single touchdown all season entering Saturday’s Week 16 win over Atlanta.
Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Joe Burrow were voted in as AFC starting quarterbacks.
The alternates in order were: Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, and then Huntley.
Yes, this means Huntley made the Pro Bowl over: Trevor Lawrence, Derek Carr, Jacoby Brissett and Ryan Tannehill, among others. All of those players had at least thrown a touchdown pass prior to Week 16.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio shared a theory on what happened.
Three components make up Pro Bowl voting: a fan vote, a coach vote, and a player vote. Coaching staffs vote collectively for three quarterbacks. Individual players can vote for three quarterbacks.
Florio’s source suggested that players from one team might have voted for an unlikely player in an effort to help boost their player’s chances of making it. For instance, the theory stated that if Miami Dolphins players wanted to get Tua Tagovailoa into the Pro Bowl as a starter, they could have voted for Tua and then two other non-realistic Pro Bowl quarterbacks in order to avoid helping a competitor make it.
So while most coaches and players may have voted for say Mahomes, Allen and Burrow, Dolphins players might have chosen Tua, Huntley, and a third random player.
Tua and the Dolphins were used as an example in the situation. But Dolphins teammates realistically might have been motivated to try and get their QB into the Pro Bowl because of the significant financial incentive.
If most of the Pro Bowl votes went to guys like Mahomes, Allen, Burrow, Tua and Herbert, then you could understand how if one team full of players voted for Huntley, the Ravens backup would have received more votes than someone like Lawrence or Carr, who probably received very few votes, if any.
Having coaching staffs and players pick only three quarterbacks rather than rank 16 AFC quarterbacks can lead to funky situations such as this one.