BALTIMORE — Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson did what no one else in NFL history has done Sunday, throwing a 75-plus touchdown and launching a 70-plus touchdown in the same game.
In the end, Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens transcended the record they can’t wait to forget.
About half an hour after the Ravens’ 42–38 loss to the Miami Dolphins, Jackson was asked how the team would react to the biggest fourth-quarter crash in the franchise’s 27-year history.
“We can’t stop there,” Jackson said. “The season is just beginning. We must focus. We still have 15 regular season games left. We won’t let this loss define us.”
There were many dumbfounded faces in the Ravens locker room after Baltimore failed to hold a 35-14 lead. The devastated Ravens entered the fourth quarter with a 98.7% chance of winning. The battered Baltimore minor then had communication problems and allowed Tua Tagovailoa to score four touchdowns in the last 12 minutes and 12 seconds of the game.
This is uncharted territory for Baltimore under coach John Harbaugh. Since 2008, the Ravens have won all 86 previous games in which they have led by 12 or more points in the fourth quarter.
But history shows that Baltimore can bounce back and live up to its lofty expectations. Over the past decade, seven teams have crashed in the fourth quarter with 16 points or more and four have qualified for the playoffs (2015 Seahawks, 2018 Bears, 2018 Eagles and 2020 Bears). This shows that teams can land a stunning gut punch late in the game, but it doesn’t have to be a season-long knockout.
“We have to admit it, every person,” Harbaugh said. “I told the guys in the locker room, ‘How we react to this is how history will be.
Much of Baltimore’s offseason story was how the team invested in their minor player by adding two safe players: free agent Marcus Williams and first-round pick Kyle Hamilton. But Tyreke Hill’s two long-range touchdowns for 48 and 60 yards in the fourth quarter came up short when the cornerback thought he was getting a lot of help from a quarterback.
The Dolphins then won the game with 14 seconds left when Jaylen Waddle caught a seven-yard touchdown pass. The Waddle was able to free himself from Ravens rookie defenseman Jalyn Armor-Davies, who was on the field, because top defenseman Marlon Humphrey (groin) was unable to finish the game.
“You never would have thought we would have so many balls thrown over our heads,” Harbaugh said. “It just can’t be. This not normal. I don’t care who’s in the back.”
If there’s anything that can lessen the severity of this unfortunate defeat, it’s that the rest of the AFC North can share in Baltimore’s suffering. While the rest of the division is losing, the Ravens (1-1) share the lead in the AFC North with the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Baltimore will find out where she really stands within the next three weeks. The next time the Ravens will play in New England, where they have never won the regular season (0-6). Baltimore then hosts preseason Super Bowl favorite Buffalo (1-0) and Super Bowl runner-up Cincinnati (0-2), who led Baltimore by 44 points in two games last season (82-38 overall).
“We are a team of veterans; we won’t let it defeat us twice. We’re going to regroup,” Ravens defender Kale Campbell said. “We go in there, study the tape, find out what happened, and then move on. [We will] use it to get better, but at the end of the day, this team still has all the potential in the world to be as good as we want to be.”