BALTIMORE — Ravens fans saddened by the loss of their Super Bowl dreams left M&T Bank Stadium in droves before their favorite team had finished playing the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.
The Ravens lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 17-10 on Sunday. The game started at 3 p.m. and ended in tears for some of the team’s die-hard supporters.
Star quarterback Lamar Jackson could win his second MVP after leading Baltimore to the league’s best record and point differential during the regular season. He even had the opportunity to throw the ball to himself in the ill-fated game.
The Ravens allowed touchdowns on the first two Kansas City possessions and appeared a bit panicky at times after that.
Baltimore made undisciplined mistakes all game. For example, when the Ravens were down by 10 in the third quarter, rookie Zay Flowers caught a 54-yard pass to the Kansas City 10 — then was flagged for taunting after the play.
Moments later, Flowers fumbled near the goal line and the Ravens ended up with no points.
That was one of several frustrating moments for Baltimore fans who were thrilled to be hosting an AFC championship game for the first time since January 1971, when the Colts beat the Oakland Raiders.
Jackson went 20 of 37 for 272 yards and a touchdown, but Baltimore never really exploited its perceived advantage on the ground. Jackson raced under one of his own tipped passes in the first half for a 13-yard reception, but he also turned the ball over twice, including a forced pass into heavy coverage that was picked off in the end zone with 6:45 left in the game.
Meanwhile, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, completed his first 11 pass attempts. Although the Ravens largely shut Kansas City down after that, the damage was done.
“I’m disappointed,” Ravens fan Clint Fleming said. “Had a great season. It was a lot of fun, but it’s come up a little bit short. But we still love the team. We always will. We’ll be here next year.”
Ravens fans trickling out of the stadium described the experience as “sad” and “frustrating.”
“I’m kind of low-key sad,” Ravens fan Kwan Johnson said. “I’m kind of sad a little bit, but we’ll be back. We’ll be back.”
Ravens fan Esther Kane Corbett said the fallout from the failed Super Bowl bid was difficult to watch.
“I couldn’t even look at some kids because they were crying, and I didn’t want to start crying,” she said.
Before the game, Ravens fans were in good spirits. After the game, despite their muddled feelings, some of them still stopped to reflect on how Jackson had carried the team forward, moving it closer toward a Lombardi Trophy.
“Lamar stepped up. He took another step this year. Won a playoff game. Got the championship game. He did really well.”
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore focused on the future, noting that the Ravens would have other opportunities to display their skills.