EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Before talking to reporters after Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson sat bent over in a chair off to the side with his face buried in his left hand.
It was the portrait of the most frustrating start in franchise history.
The Ravens now have lost three games in which they held double-digit leads in the first six weeks of a season. Jackson turned over the ball on the final two drives as Baltimore watched a 20-10 lead in the fourth quarter turn into another late-game collapse.
“We’ve made some mistakes, let some ballgames slip away,” Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell said. “But we can use it as fuel to get better, to keep fighting, to not relax and to find a way to improve. Or we can just let it eat at you and make more mistakes. I think it’s kind of just one of those places where it’s still early in the season. We’re not going to hit the panic button.”
Baltimore (3-3) is the 39th team in NFL history to hold a double-digit lead in each of its first six games. It is the only one not to have a winning record.
“When you are your own biggest enemy, that’s really something that can frustrate anyone,” Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley said. “We know how much talent we have on this team. We’re going to pull it together. That’s kind of the frustration that everybody has.”
With 3 minutes, 4 seconds left in the game and holding a three-point lead, Jackson ran to recover an errant snap and threw an off-balance pass over the middle of the field, where it was intercepted. The Giants turned Jackson’s sixth interception of the season into Saquon Barkley’s winning 1-yard touchdown.
Then, when trailing for the first time all game, Jackson fumbled after being stripped by Kayvon Thibodeaux.
In his first four seasons, Jackson had three regular-season losses as a starter when leading by 10 points. In six games this season, he has matched that total.
After the game, Jackson went around the locker room and shook about 20 players’ hands.
“We just can’t keep beating ourselves up because that’s what it is,” Jackson said. “It is not our opponent … I feel like we just beating ourselves with little mistakes here and there.”
Failing to finish games has been a recurring nightmare for Baltimore. In Week 2, the Ravens lost to the Miami Dolphins, 42-38, after leading by 21 points in the fourth quarter. In Week 4, Baltimore fell to the Buffalo Bills, 23-20, despite holding a 17-point lead late in the second quarter.
After Sunday’s meltdown, Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey tweeted a quote from Albert Einstein: “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
“We’ll regroup, we’ll go to work, and we’re going to find ourselves as a football team,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “That’s what we have to do right now: find ourselves as a football team. We have an opportunity to be a very good football team. We can be as good as we want to be and decide to be.”