It's not often two turnovers occur on the same play in the NFL.
But for the second time in the last three weeks, the Ravens defense committed a turnover just seconds after creating one. In both instances, the giveaway proved to be a critical second-half turning point in a Ravens loss.
The gaffe in Sunday's 24-16 loss to the New York Jets came in the third quarter when defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan recovered a fumble at Baltimore's 2-yard line. Jernigan scooped up the football and tried to run around the edge of the defense when he had the ball forced out of his hands.
The Jets recovered at the 5-yard line and punched the ball in the end zone three plays later.
"I'm trying to help the offense," Jernigan said. "I would never do something to glorify myself. Everything I've ever done was to help the team. And that's just what it is. And if you take it differently than that, you just take it differently. That's what it is."
The fumble happened when the Ravens were down 17-16 late in the third quarter. Quarterback Joe Flacco had just thrown interceptions on back-to-back possessions, and the team needed a spark.
Instead of Jernigan's fumble recovery giving the offense the ball back, the Jets got a fresh set of downs and turned that into a touchdown.
"You've got to stay in the end zone there and he knows that," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "That's not one where you bring it out, you're not a ball carrier. It was a huge play in the game and obviously it was a difference in the game."
Jernigan explained in the locker room after the loss that his days of trying to run back turnovers are finished.
"From now on, I don't care if I have 100 yards in front of me with no one in front of me, I fall on the ball," he said.
The play was similar to the Week 5 mishap against Washington where linebacker C.J. Mosley intercepted a pass and then fumbled it out of the end zone trying to reach it over the pylon for a touchdown.
Washington and New York turned those giveaways into touchdowns, and the Ravens couldn't overcome them.
"Those are the things that are costing us football games, and those are the things that have to stop," Harbaugh said.