After Atlanta's second touchdown, Taylor caught a 64-yard pass and capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown reception. In the opening series of the second half, Taylor took a reverse right into a crowd and then improvised by going back to his left. His 39-yard gain set up fullback Alan Ricard's 19-yard run that tied the game at 17 early in the third quarter.

"The stats don't make up for the loss," said Taylor, who finished with a career-high 127 yards receiving.

In the end, the Ravens found themselves battling their mistakes as well as the officials.

Late in the third quarter, Ravens defensive end Tony Weaver chased down Vick, who lost the ball. Ravens defensive end Adalius Thomas came running over to the sideline raising the ball high, but the officials ruled Vick was down before fumbling.

The next play, Jay Feely kicked a 40-yarder to put the Falcons back ahead 20-17.

"I show you the ball and you [the officials] get together and conclude that it's their ball," Thomas said. "I think they missed the call."

When asked about the play, Billick said sarcastically: "You can't challenge. The officials are, as usual, right on and perfect in making the correct call. It's non-reviewable."

The Ravens' final collapse came with two minutes left in the fourth quarter, with Atlanta going for it on fourth-and-four. Originally supposed to look to his right, Vick noticed Porter lined up 6 yards off receiver Trevor Gaylor and decided to throw to his left.

Vick delivered a sinking pass that Gaylor cradled just above the turf for a 6-yard gain, allowing Atlanta to run out the final 1:46. Porter was only in the game because Chris McAlister sprained his ankle after making the mistake of fielding a punt at the Ravens' 3 early in the fourth quarter.

"I broke on it, but he threw it so low that he could only make the play," said Porter, who explained his positioning on zone coverage.

When asked if Porter should have lined up closer, Billick said: "If he's up close enough and they throw a fade for a touchdown, is he too far off?"

The Ravens finished the first half of the season with mounting errors and dwindling hope. The reprieve might come next Sunday, when they play host to the last-place Cincinnati Bengals.

"It's a tall task to think in terms of the playoffs," Billick said. "But you don't eliminate that until you're mathematically eliminated."