It feels like forever ago when the Baltimore Ravens blew a 35-14 lead to lose to the Miami Dolphins in Week 2 of last season. That was before we knew Tua Tagovailoa was a good quarterback, before Lamar Jackson suffered a season-ending injury or signed a life-changing contract, and before names like Roquan Smith, Odell Beckham Jr. or Zay Flowers were on the team.
It became a concerning trend for the Ravens, who also lost games to the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants over the next month after blowing double-digit leads.
So much has changed in the year-plus since, but one thing that hasn’t is Baltimore’s struggles closing games. The Ravens are an impressive 7-3 this season, but all three losses were in games they led in the fourth quarter. Sunday’s loss to the Cleveland Browns after leading 31-17 was the biggest blown lead of them all, continuing a trend that makes Baltimore awfully hard to trust as a Super Bowl contender.
Ravens' blown leads …
Blew leads in all 3 losses, including 2 double-digit leads
Since 2022 Season
6 losses with a double-digit lead (most in NFL, per @JoshDubowAP )
Since 2021 Season
9 losses with a 7+ point fourth-quarter lead (most in NFL, per @jeffzrebiec )
— Sarah Ellison (@sgellison) November 13, 2023
It would be silly to count the Ravens out when they still hold the AFC’s second-best record, and so many other teams are far inferior in quarters one through three. The Ravens have an MVP quarterback and a top-five scoring offense and defense, and seven wins means they aren’t blowing every lead the get. So it’s not that they can’t close games.
But when it comes to evaluating contenders, Jim Harbaugh’s squad needs to show it can be more consistent in scoring and getting stops when it matters most before it can ever be considered a threat to teams like the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.
Baltimore has +1000 Super Bowl odds, which are tied for fourth with the Dallas Cowboys. But there’s a reason they’re so much longer than the top three: the Chiefs, Eagles and San Francisco 49ers, who seemed to get back on track in Week 10. Until the Ravens show they can consistently close games, they’ll never be considered among the elites.