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Mike Rucker

Game 6: McNair, momentum take hit

The Ravens first lost their quarterback. Then they lost their bite on defense.

By the end of yesterday's deflating 23-21 loss to the Carolina Panthers, the Ravens had lost something they had built all season long.

Hello, bye week. Goodbye, momentum.

Lapses on offense in the first half and breakdowns on defense in the second half snowballed into the Ravens' second straight loss and two weeks of second-guessing.

"Our momentum has taken a hit," said tight end Todd Heap, whose face - a bloody bandage over the bridge of his nose - symbolized the beaten-up state of the team. "We started off on a roll and we have hit a little dip....