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Costly Turnovers Left Door Open For Crushing Defeat


The ending of Sunday's loss to Jacksonville will dominate the discussion about the game, but it was Baltimore's miscues earlier in the afternoon that left the Ravens in position for a crushing defeat.

Before Elvis Dumervil's facemask penalty gave the Jaguars a chance for a game-winning field goal with no time left on the clock, the Ravens had already committed four second-half turnovers.

The interceptions, fumble and muffed punt left the Jaguars with too many opportunities.

"I felt like we lost the game way before that," wide receiver Kamar Aiken said about the ending. "It should have never [gotten] to that point. We should have never been in that situation in the first place. That's all on us."

The Ravens harped on turnovers all week, emphasizing the need for the defense to force them. The defense snapped a five-game streak without a takeaway, but the offense and special teams units responded by giving the ball away four times in the first 16 minutes of the second half.

Check out the best photos from M&T Bank Stadium as the Ravens battle the Jaguars!

Quarterback Joe Flacco threw two interceptions and fumbled once. Punt returner Jeremy Ross then muffed a punt while trying to fair catch it. The Ravens finished the game with a minus-3 turnover differential.

Baltimore's first five possessions of the second half went interception, interception, fumble, punt and muffed punt. The turnovers led to 10 points for the Jaguars, and the Ravens didn't score in the second half until midway through the fourth quarter.

"That probably took points away from us, and in that fourth quarter we were able to get the ball rolling a little bit more again and put points on the board, but it wasn't enough," Flacco said. "We're just not the type of team that's finding ways to win right now."

There wasn't a common thread with any of the turnovers. The first interception came when Flacco's pass to Aiken bounced off the receiver's hands and turned out to be an easy turnover for the Jaguars defense. The pass was slightly behind Aiken, but he took "100 percent" ownership for the interception.

"I hold myself to a higher standard," Aiken said. "If I get my hands on it, I have to make the catch. That's just on me. I'll do what I have to do to make sure that I put myself in a better position to make that catch."

The next interception came with the Ravens on the move when Flacco took a deep shot for wide receiver Chris Givens. The speedy wide out ran a double move, but the timing on the play was off and Flacco's pass also looked underthrown.

"I just tried to throw it out there and get lucky, but if anything, it's just a throwaway," Flacco said. "[The defender] got his eyes back to the ball and made a good play."

Flacco fumbled on the next series on a strip-sack, and Ross then coughed up the football early in the fourth quarter after the defense had forced a three-and-out. Instead of the Ravens offense having good starting field position, the Jaguars had a fresh set off downs at Baltimore's 37-yard line.

Jacksonville turned the dropped punt into a go-ahead touchdown.

"I was just sitting back there and the ball started dropping, and at the last minute the wind just kept taking it behind me," Ross said. "I tried to go back and catch it, but it kind of got behind a little bit and it dropped."

The Ravens did ultimately come back from the turnovers to take a 20-19 lead late in the fourth quarter, but all the miscues left Jacksonville within striking distance for the hard-to-believe chain of events at the end of the game.  

"We turned the ball over too much, and we didn't finish the game," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "Really, at the end, that's what it boils down to."

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