The bizarre ending — a 53-yard field goal by a kicker who’d earlier missed from 26, set up by a face mask penalty with no time on the clock — frankly fit the 59 minutes and 59 seconds of slop that had come before it.
The Ravens and Jaguars composed a symphony of turnovers, ill-timed penalties and squandered opportunities. That the Ravens ultimately lost this race to the bottom was almost beside the point. The mere fact they had to go tooth and nail on their home field with one of the lowliest franchises in the NFL said a lot about their 2015.
They’ve now lost to both the Browns and Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium, where they held one of the greatest homefield advantages in the sport before this season.
The Jaguars aren’t as pitiful as they were from 2012-2014, when they averaged three wins a season and paired a bottom-five offense with a bottom-five defense.
But they still came in on a 13-game road losing streak, and they’re still the kind of team the Ravens used to handle routinely at home.
Joe Flacco turned the ball over on each of the Ravens’ first three drives of the second half, but the Jaguars converted those miscues into a mere three points.
Jacksonville’s follies included a 22-of-45 passing day from quarterback Blake Bortles and that absurdly pulled chip shot by kicker Jason Myers.
Of course, the Ravens kept giving them chances.
Jeremy Ross muffed a routine punt early in the fourth quarter, allowing the Jaguars to start at the Ravens’ 37-yard line. After a suspect personal foul call against safety Will Hill (a defender should not be whistled for a head shot when he pulls up and the receiver runs into him), Jacksonville finally managed a touchdown to go up 19-14.
The Ravens rallied to take the lead. But then on Jacksonville’s last drive, safety Kendrick Lewis dropped a potential interception that would have ended the game. Then came the last great gift, Elvis Dumervil’s face-mask penalty on a play that barely beat the final whistle.
The bottom line is we’re running out of ways to talk about how this is a tortured team.