The Ravens are 0-3 for the first time in franchise history, and quarterback Joe Flacco thinks his entire team is lacking confidence to finish games.
Baltimore has come up just short in the fourth quarter in all three of its games and could very well be 3-0 if just a few plays broke in its direction. In Week 1 in Denver, receiver Steve Smith and tight end Crockett Gillmore saw potential game-winning touchdowns slide through their hands. The next week in Oakland, Flacco overshot Smith in the end zone on a chance to put the Ravens up by a touchdown in the final minutes. The Ravens settled for a field goal instead, and the Raiders marched down the field on the ensuing drive for the winning touchdown.
Sunday saw the Ravens blow two leads in the fourth quarter after rallying back from a 14-0 halftime deficit. The first time only took one play as Andy Dalton hit A.J. Green for an 80-yard touchdown. Then after Steve Smith's 16-yard touchdown reception, the duo hooked up again for a 7-yard score at the end of a six-play, 80-yard drive that took just 1:46. the
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"We've had opportunities to win each one of these three games, and we're just not good enough to be good in crunch-time situations, and it's getting us beat," Flacco said.
"In this league, when you're 0-3, nobody says, 'Man, you know what? It could have been 3-0,'" linebacker Elvis Dumervil said. "We're 0-3 and that's what the print says and that's the facts. We have 13 games left though. [Thursday against the Steelers] is a must-win for sure."
Head coach John Harbaugh doesn't believe in must-win games, but he would like to see his defense make a stop in the fourth quarter. Only one team has made the playoffs after beginning the season 0-4 since 1990 -- the 1992 San Diego Chargers. Three teams have made the postseason in the same span after beginning the season with three straight losses. .
"Those are just terms, cliches. I think every game is a must win," Harbaugh said. "If you've got the lead in the fourth quarter, you've got to play the kind of defense that gets them stopped."
"We have to get our minds in check and make sure that we want to go out there and win a football game," Flacco said. "That's what it's all about. It's going out there and playing for the guy beside you, picking him up when needed and going and winning a football game, no matter the circumstance.
"Right now, it probably comes down to the fact that we're not believing in ourselves enough, and we're not envisioning winning those football games. We've got to turn that around."