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Monday, January 23, 2012
Ravens again fail to finish in postseason

By Jamison Hensley

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Baltimore Ravens' last-minute collapse in the AFC Championship Game was a crushing defeat. It's also becoming a trend in the playoffs for Baltimore.

For the past two postseasons, the Ravens have simply dropped the ball.

In last season's divisional playoff game in Pittsburgh, the Ravens led 21-7 at halftime and lost 31-24. It was the result of three Ravens turnovers on seven offensive snaps in the third quarter: The first fumble of the season by Ray Rice (who was playing with an illness), an interception by Flacco and a fumble by Flacco (center Matt Birk snapped the ball into the side of his leg).

To make matters worse for the Ravens, Anquan Boldin dropped a pass at the goal line and T.J. Houshmandzadeh dropped one on fourth down, which sealed Baltimore's loss at Heinz Field.

The Ravens' 23-20 loss at the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game was another example of them not making the plays in the postseason. Lee Evans dropped a pass in the end zone with 22 seconds, and Billy Cundiff missed wide right on a 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining in the game.

As Cundiff's field goal hooked to the side, the television cameras showed Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs saying "Oh my God." This marked the first time in 12 games this season that the Ravens had lost when leading after three quarters.

Baltimore had hoped to go to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2000 season. Instead, the Ravens' championship dreams were gone in 30 seconds.