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Elvis Dumervil: 'I Take Full Responsibility'


As a football player, you're taught to play until the clock hits triple zeroes. The Ravens thought they did that Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

In one of the wackiest – and most painful – endings to a Ravens game in recent memory, Baltimore lost when it thought the game was over.

A facemask penalty by outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil on the Jags' final offensive play gave Jacksonville a free play from the 35-yard line and kicker Jason Myers hit a 53-yard field goal to hand Baltimore a 22-20 loss.

In a stunned post-game locker room, the Ravens defenders tried to explain the unexplainable.

"It's heartbreaking, man. I let the guys down on that play," Dumervil said.

"Can't create penalties, especially at a crucial part of the game. Can't happen. I take full responsibility for that one."

Dumervil said he saw the play clock and saw the snap get off in time. At that point, he knew there wasn't enough time for a spike, so he pounced. The only problem was that he tackled Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles in precisely the wrong way.

"When I went after him, my arm wrapped around him, it kind of fell on the helmet," Dumervil said. "I tried to get off it, but I didn't. It cost the team."

Bortles was so shocked by the snap that he tripped and fell to the ground. He still had enough time to get up and try to make a play because Dumervil was the only Ravens defender who actually rushed.

Everybody thought the game was over except seemingly two men: Bortles and Dumervil.

Outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw had already pumped his fist in celebration and started walking off the field. Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan stood up straight, then gave a half-hearted effort when it seemed something was amiss. Even Jaguars players just stood around.

"We all thought the game was over," Upshaw said. "We kind of left 'Doom' out there alone. We can't stop like that. We have to finish the game."

Cornerback Jimmy Smith jumped up and down yelling, "It's zero! It's zero!" When he looked back, Dumervil was on top of Bortles. So Smith thought, it must have been over.

"Next thing you know, it's a flag – a gift," Smith said. "It got put in the refs' hands and they made the call and we lost."

The facemask call was correct. The question that Head Coach John Harbaugh had after the game was whether the Jaguars got the final snap off before the clock hit zero. Without any replay in the stadium, Harbaugh was asking reporters if they got it off.

The media confirmed it was a clean snap.

"It was chaotic," Harbaugh said. "Obviously just about as tough a loss as you're ever going to see, you're ever going to have to deal with."

It wasn't just the final play that left the Ravens wondering "what if?"

The Jaguars' final drive started with one minute, six seconds remaining from Baltimore's 20-yard line. They had no timeouts.

Bortles hit a couple of passes over the middle of the field, which ate up clock. Then, facing a second-and-15 with 20 seconds left, Bortles lobbed a pass intended for receiver Allen Robinson, except nowhere near him.

Ravens safety Kendrick Lewis broke on the ball and it was gift-wrapped for an interception. The ball bounced off his arms with nobody around and fell incomplete.

Cornerback Lardarius Webb broke the Ravens defense's 61-drive streak without a turnover in the second quarter, but Smith dropped a pair of potential picks and Lewis muffed the one that could have ended the game.

"I had a chance to seal it," Lewis said. "I'm always going to look at myself first. No matter what happened in the game, I had an opportunity and I didn't get it done. That's on me."

Webb was frustrated as he came out of the showers. The Ravens filed out of the locker room, shocked.

"I'm speechless," defensive tackle Brandon Williams said. "Really, I have no words. I have never seen anything like this."

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