5 takeaways from Ravens’ 16-13 overtime loss to Steelers

Shaun H. Ruff

The Baltimore Ravens saw their 2021 season end in a heartbreaking way, losing 16-13 in overtime to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 18. The loss marked their sixth-straight, which had never happened in the John Harbaugh-era up until this point.

Baltimore had plenty of opportunities to pull ahead for good and secure a victory, but a poor showing in the red zone on offense and untimely plays given up on defense sealed their fate as they were unable to take care of their own business once again.

Below we look at five takeaways from the Ravens’ Week 18 loss to Pittsburgh.

QB Tyler Huntley has room to grow

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Huntley arguably had his worst game of the 2021 season in Week 18 against the Steelers, completing 16-of-31 passes for 141 yards and two interceptions while also rushing 12 times for 72 yards. His performance in the final game of the season shows that he has plenty of room to grow, and also why there is no quarterback controversy surrounding him and Lamar Jackson.

Huntley can attack the offseason in multiple ways, working on his deep ball accuracy, decision making and other aspects of his game. He is a very talented player, and has plenty of room to improve and get better, which shows how much potential he has.

RB Latavius Murray still has something left in the tank

Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Murray had his best game in a Baltimore uniform on Sunday, rushing 16 times for 150 yards and a touchdown, averaging 9.4 yards per carry. He showed burst and even some long speed as he broke through the Pittsburgh defense for multiple long runs.

The veteran’s 2021 season was somewhat of a disappointing one overall. However, he showed in Week 18 that he can still help an NFL team in the future. Whether that ends up being the Ravens remains to be seen, but he ended his year on a very strong note.

WR James Proche II deserves more opportunities

Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

In some of the more controversial news of Week 18 for much of the Ravens community, Proche was made inactive for the second-straight week after catching seven passes for 76 yards in Week 16 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Many were outraged by the move, as Proche seemingly continues to be a victim of the numbers game.

In his place, Miles Boykin was active for Week 18. It seemed like Baltimore was valuing special teams play as well as receivers who could play primarily on the outside over Proche, but that doesn’t mean he all of a sudden doesn’t deserve opportunities. He is one of the hardest workers on the team and contributes when called upon, so although it can be hard to find snaps for everyone, Proche deserves to at least be active for game days.

The strong play of the Ravens’ defense continues to be overshadowed by mishaps in final minutes

Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

For how decimated Baltimore’s defensive unit was in the second half of 2021, they still played exceptionally we
ll. The run defense was phenomenal, and the pass defense held it’s own for the most part despite missing many starters including multiple All-Pro talents.

However, one of the weak points of the unit at times was their execution in late-game moments when they needed stops. They failed to round out great efforts and allowed their opponents to convert and score, which is something that overshadowed what they were able to do as a group. That was no different in Week 18, as the Steelers were able to march down the field late and put up the necessary amount of points to win the contest.

Injuries from the 2021 season could haunt Baltimore in 2022

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

On Sunday after the Ravens’ defeat, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic reported that the team fears outside linebacker Tyus Bowser suffered a torn achilles in Week 18. If true, it’s a cruel end to an extremely trying season that saw Baltimore suffer countless injuries.

Bowser would face a long road to recovery that has a real possibility to carry over into the start of the 2022 season. The Ravens’ 2021 season might have ended, but the injuries that they suffered during it will haunt them for parts of 2022 if the fears of Bowser’s achilles injury are true.



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