Ravens suffer 'T.K.O.' in AFC championship

The Ravens' locker room following a crushing AFC title game loss to the New England Patriots had the atmosphere of a funeral. It was preceded by abject failure from two culprits: kicker Billy Cundiff botching a chip-shot field goal and wide receiver Lee Evans flubbing a potential touchdown catch. Evans hid his tears, burying his face in both hands as he sat alone at his locker stall. Teammates kindly stopped by to express sympathy. Evans composed himself and uttered these words in his final act as a Raven before being cut in the offseason: "The most disappointing part is that I feel personally that I let everybody down. Nobody else can take the fall for that. It's as tough as it gets." Cundiff was a standup guy, facing the music with no excuses. He knew he had blown it, hooking his rushed kick wide left. "There's really no excuse for it," said Cundiff, who lost his job to Justin Tucker last summer. "You know Ray Lewis has poured his heart out, and you don't know how many years he has left. To let him down is pretty tough." Walking next to Cal Ripken Jr., owner Steve Bisciotti wore a grim expression on his face. A promising season had ended on a chilly Massachusetts day. The mood was broken up a bit by the odd sight of safety Ed Reed crooning the Teddy Pendergrass classic, "Love TKO." The lyrics: "Think I'd better let it go, looks like another love T.KO. Takin' the bumps and the bruises ... Of all the things of a two-time loser, tryin' to hold on, faith is gone. It's just another sad song. I think I'd better let it go." And so the Ravens did, undone by Cundiff's and Evans' huge mistakes. -- Aaron Wilson
Baltimore Sun photo by Lloyd Fox
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