How did the Ravens lose on Sunday?
Let me count the ways.
Joe Flacco turned the ball over twice in the third quarter when they were in position to put the game away. The Ravens gave up a touchdown pass and a two-point conversion to somebody named Kirk Cousins in the final minute of the game while super rookie Robert Griffin III was licking his wounds on the sideline. The usually dependable special teams unit gave up a big punt return to set up a game-winning Redskins field goal in overtime.
Sorry for recounting all that unpleasantness, but it's hard to avoid the obvious. This isn't the way you want to warm up for back-to-back games against Peyton and Eli Manning. This is not the time of year when you want your offense in a crisis of confidence.
Once again, the Ravens were in a position to lock up the AFC North title and blinked. The only good thing that happened for them on Sunday was that the Cincinnati Bengals came from ahead to lose to the Cowboys, or they would have inched to within a game of first place with a head-to-head meeting looming in Cincinnati in three weeks.
The Ravens were playing without some key players, but this game should have been in the bag well before crunch time. Now, they're going to need that big emotional lift that should come if Ray Lewis can take the field against the Broncos next week.