The Ravens' AFC title loss in 2012 was deflating to say the least.
It was the team's second chance in four years under Head Coach John Harbaugh to go to the Super Bowl. And it was literally in their hands.
The fateful Lee Evans drop and Billy Cundiff miss in New England the season before last took a toll, one that even made Owner Steve Bisciotti ponder whether he could continue in the high-stakes, often painful NFL.
At the end of the year, there are 31 disappointed owners and only one who gets to wear a Super Bowl ring. Friday night, as he presented his players and staff with their rings, Bisciotti went back to that fateful night in New England.
"It was the first time that I ever said to my wife, 'I don't know if I can do this anymore. I don't know that the wins are better than the losses,'" Bisciotti said in his speech to the organization.
"In 13 years, it was the first time that I thought, 'Do I really want to put myself through these lows for the chance?' The lows are guaranteed. The highs are not."
One man deserves a lot of credit for bringing the Ravens out of the shock of that title game loss. It was linebacker Ray Lewis, who gathered his team close in the locker room and delivered one of his greatest speeches.
Lewis said God doesn't make mistakes, that there is only one champion and that they shouldn't drop their heads because of a loss.
"The fact is we've got to come back and go to work to make sure we finish it next time," Lewis said. "This right here makes us stronger."
Bisciotti, who was standing right next to Lewis when he said those words, thanked the Ravens' now retired leader for that moment at Friday night's ceremony.
"I hope you know what that means to the city of Baltimore that you're our anchor," Bisciotti said. "You're what we will go back to whenever we struggle. That you will always find a way, like you did in that locker room after that bitter defeat in New England.
"You brought us back with your compadres, and we're here because of you. I hope you know how special you are to us and to this city."