Ten months after a gut-wrenching playoff loss to the Titans, the Ravens got bullied late in falling 30-24 in overtime on Sunday.
In watching Derrick Henry break free for a 29-yard touchdown in overtime, Baltimore has to wonder whether its playoff hopes are pulling away as well.
In blowing an 11-point lead in the second half, the Ravens (6-4) have lost three of their past four games and dropped back-to-back games to fall to third place in the AFC North.
"We just can’t put 60 minutes together as a football team,” Ravens defensive end Derek Wolfe said. Sometimes this happens; when you have a lot of young guys on the field, it takes time for them to get battle-hardened and get this bad taste in their mouth, so they feel like they never want to feel that again. We’ve got to just play better football. We’ve got to tackle.”
Baltimore delivered several hard hits and played with passion early. Ravens coach John Harbaugh even got into a shouting match with Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler before the game and they needed to be separated.
For three quarters, it looked like a banged-up Ravens team was going to avenge last season’s 28-12 divisional round loss to the Titans before crumbling late in the fourth quarter and overtime.
With two starting offensive linemen on injured reserve (Ronnie Stanley and Tyre Phillips) and another benched (center Matt Skura), the Ravens jumped out to a 21-10 lead early in the fourth quarter on Lamar Jackson’s 31-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mark Andrews. But Baltimore managed only one field goal the rest of the way.
With two starting defensive linemen sidelined (Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams), the Ravens held Henry to 41 yards in the first three quarters. But Baltimore allowed him to run for 92 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime.
"It’s hard losing, and we’re not comfortable with it,” Ravens left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. said. "We know what we’re capable of as a team and as a unit. We understand that we want to be in the playoffs, and we want to get to a Super Bowl, but we’ve got to do a better job performing on Sundays.”
Describe the game in two words. Another collapse. The Ravens lost after leading 21-10 in the third quarter. Lamar Jackson was undefeated in his first 21 games in which he led by at least 10 points. Now, Jackson has lost two of his past three games in which he had a double-digit advantage.
QB breakdown: Lamar Jackson didn't get much help outside of tight end Mark Andrews. He connected with Andrews on five completions for 96 yards and a touchdown. With everyone else, Jackson completed 12 passes for 90 yards. Jackson wasn't much of a factor running the ball (51 yards on 13 carries).
Pivotal play: Embarrassing tackling on A.J. Brown’s 14-yard touchdown catch. The Ravens watched three defenders -- Chuck Clark, Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey -- fail to bring down Brown before reaching the end zone. Once up 21-10 in the third quarter, Baltimore trailed 24-21 with 2:18 remaining because it couldn't finish off Tennessee in the fourth quarter.
Up next: Thursday night at the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jackson committed a career-worst four turnovers against the Steelers in Week 8, when Baltimore lost to Pittsburgh 28-24.