Week 17 was no easy outing for the Baltimore Ravens against the Los Angeles Rams as they tried to end their untimely losing streak. John Harbaugh’s squad managed to put up a good fight but eventually ran out of gas and succumbed to a 20-19 defeat, giving them yet another brutally close loss.

With the disappointing defeat, the Ravens have dropped back to an 8-8 record for the third spot in the AFC North. It also stretched their losing skid to five games and further complicated their hopes for a playoff spot heading to the final week of the regular season. Baltimore will have to regroup and bounce back for a must-win game against the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 18, and then a lot of help will be needed to sneak in the playoffs.

With all this said, here are three takeaways from the Ravens’ Week 17 loss to the Rams.

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Baltimore Ravens Week 17 Takeaways

3. Devonta Freeman deserves a second look come the offseason

In the early stages of the 2021 season, the Ravens lost their primary running backs in J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill to season-ending injuries. Despite having a QB in Lamar Jackson who can run the ball well, the Ravens still needed a serviceable running back to fill the hole in the backfield. The team tried out Le’Veon Bell (didn’t work out) and also sought the services of Devonta Freeman, who was inked to a one-year contract.

Due to sustained knee injuries over the years, the former Pro Bowler’s level of play is nowhere near where it once was during his peak. However, he has still managed to produce valiant contributions for the Ravens whenever his number is called. In Week 17, Freeman led the ground game with 76 rushing yards on 14 carries.

Through 15 appearances, he has compiled a total of 555 yards on 128 attempts and five touchdowns for the Ravens this season. Despite seeing limited action on the field, the veteran has still been able to play well within the role that was given to him. With how Freeman has performed through the course of their campaign, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Baltimore calls him up for another tour of duty next season.

2. The defensive unit needs to do better in crunch time

The Ravens’ normally elite defensive unit has been ravaged by injuries this season, but they have still performed rather admirably. Baltimore did well for much of the game against Los Angeles, only to unfortunately fold late.

With four and a half minutes left in the final frame, Harbaugh and his men found themselves up by five. However, the defense failed to hold their ground, which allowed their opponent to carve out a 75-yard touchdown drive on nine plays. The Rams then took a one-point lead and held strong to secure the win.

In totality, Baltimore gave up 13 fourth-quarter points to Los Angeles, ruining what had been a terrific performance. Certainly enough, the injuries the Ravens have sustained are out of their control, but they will still have to find a way to tighten their defense in crunch time, especially as they continue to fight for a playoff spot in Week 18.

1. Despite the odds, the Ravens proved they have a no-quit mentality

Currently, the Ravens are one of the most depleted teams in the league, especially as they continue to be in the hunt for a playoff spot. With the absence of QB1 Lamar Jackson, his backup in Tyler Huntley has been playing well under center. The remaining active role players on both ends of the floor are also stepping up to fill in the holes left by the injured players on their roster.

Even with the unfortunate circumstances, the Ravens have been fighting tooth and nail to secure much-needed victories. Losing by a single point to an elite Rams squad was clearly indicative of the resilient character that this team possesses. Sure, their efforts might not have been resulting in wins as of late, but no one can deny how hard they have been playing given the situation.

Unfortunately, the Ravens need everything to align in order for them to book a playoff spot after Week 18. It’s a long shot at this point, but they’ll surely put up another strong fight no matter what.