This wasn’t supposed to happen. It certainly wasn’t supposed to end this way. Sure, one could have seen and even stomached losing to the Kansas City Chiefs next week in the Conference Championship Game. Even losing to the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl would have been palatable. However, no one saw the 6th seeded Tennessee Titans strutting into Baltimore and whipping the Ravens in every phase of the game.
What made this season and loss both so special and so devastating at the same time? Go back to the beginning of the season. The Ravens were picked to finish THIRD in the AFC North, most expecting an 8-8 season based on the loss of four key defensive starters and a new QB that just got “exposed” in the 2019 post season loss to the Chargers.
That seemed right on schedule after four games of the 2019 regular season. Then something happened. Additions of key players on defense and the offense began to click. Win after win, by large margins and against playoff teams, many in the national TV spotlight, vaulted the Ravens to the top team in the NFL, the favorite to win the Super Bowl and led by the clear cut MVP.
Such high expectations put the team on a pedestal and also put a target on the Ravens with so far to fall if they failed, which they obviously did. Going into the details why isn’t the point of this post but how it crushed the hearts of its fans, in a city that has seen virtually nothing positive in national news recently, and gave its citizens a sense of pride so sorely needed. With expectations so high, the fall from the top was long, slow and ended with a deafening thud.
Baltimore expected and needed a victory. It didn’t get it. The rain that began falling after the game didn’t come from the heavens. It came from the upper decks of M&T Bank Stadium of the disappointed fans and combined with the rest of the city on what could have, would have and should have happened to finish out this fairy tale of a season.