The Ravens' season seemed to turn in the right direction after last week's commanding victory over the Oakland Raiders.
Suddenly the Ravens were tied for first place in the AFC North heading into a favorable portion of the schedule, and entered Sunday's meeting with the one-win Chicago Bears as heavy favorites.
But the issues that plagued Baltimore in previous losses to Pittsburgh and Jacksonville crept up again, and the Ravens ended up losing on a day when they scored two special teams touchdowns and also forced a pair of turnovers.
"I really don't have words to explain the performance we put on today," safety Eric Weddle said. "It's just hard to fathom. Defensively, we gave up a [touchdown pass by a running back] and then a broken play for another touchdown. We held them to 80 yards passing in regulation. Our offense doesn't do anything. Luckily, our special teams scored twice – one was lucky, two was a great play.
"So, we have a lot to work on. That's the reality."
As bad as the Ravens played for much of Sunday's game, they still found themselves in position to win it.
They erased an 11-point deficit late in the fourth quarter with a field goal and 77-yard punt return touchdown. They went into overtime with all the momentum and M&T Bank Stadium buzzing, but that excitement quickly dissipated as the offense went three-and-out in its only series and then Bears running back Jordan Howard ripped off a 53-yard run into Baltimore territory.
Bears kicker Connor Barth drilled a 40-yard game-winning field goal six plays after Howard's run to bring the Ravens to 3-3 on the season.
"This one definitely hurts," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "Despite everything that happened, we still had a chance to win the game and we didn't do it. It sucks to lose a game when the defense is on the field. It's just unfortunate. This one sucks."
"You do not feel good coming into the locker room after a game like that," quarterback Joe Flacco added. "The fact that you are feeling a little hopeful there at the end – I don't know if that makes it any worse. It's just all bad."
The issues for the Ravens were across the board. Without veteran receiver Jeremy Maclin in the lineup because of a shoulder injury, the overall passing game struggled. Flacco had just 180 passing yards and didn't have a completion longer than 17 yards.
Wide receivers Breshad Perriman and Chris Moore caused both interceptions by failing to bring in passes that Flacco put right on their chests. Baltimore's other turnover came when tight end Maxx Williams fumbled after gaining yards for a first down.
"Every turnover is frustrating," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "It's about as frustrating as it can get."
Defensively, the Ravens gave up the deciding drive in overtime and couldn't stop the running game for much of the day. Chicago pounded the ball 54 times on the ground and the Ravens allowed a franchise-high 231 rushing yards.
It was the first time in 10 regular-season games under Harbaugh that the Ravens had lost to a rookie quarterback at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore limited Trubisky to just 8-of-16 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown, but that wasn't enough to get the job done.
"There's nothing more disappointing in the world than mediocrity," Suggs said. "You can't play good last week and then we come out there and we don't play too good. We gave up a ton of yards rushing. It just sucks, we're going to get it fixed. We're all committed."
"If you want to be a great team and a great defense, leaders have to make sure that everybody's in the right mindset," linebacker C.J. Mosley added. "Everybody has to hold themselves accountable."
The bright spot for the Ravens is the way they fought back into the game after falling behind by two scores late in the fourth quarter. Harbaugh and team leaders applauded the fight the Ravens showed to get themselves into overtime.
"Honestly, we had no business being in that game," Weddle said. "We did come back and that shows a lot. It shows a lot about our toughness."
The Ravens now have to get back to work and figure out why the group has been so inconsistent this season. The offense has struggled mightily in their three losses, and the Ravens can't rely on their defense to completely shut down opponents.
Baltimore is still in the thick of the division race with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they have to make corrections to keep themselves in the hunt.
"It's part of being an NFL player," Flacco said. "It's part of being a leader and a player on this team – you have to be able to deal with the ups and downs of the season and continue to roll through. It's still early on and we're a 3-3 football team. We have to look at ourselves hard and look at ourselves as the reason that we're 3-3."
Check out all the best photos from M&T Bank Stadium as the Ravens battle the Bears in week 6 of the 2017 season.