Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 1/23/12

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 10: Billy Cundiff #7 of the Baltimore Ravens attempts a kick from the hold of Sam Koch #4 against the New England Patriots during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

You win as a team and you lose as a team. As expected, that was the message from the Ravens locker room after their devastating AFC Championship loss to the Patriots on Sunday. Billy Cundiff may have missed a chip shot field goal that would have sent the game to overtime, but Lee Evans also failed to secure a potential game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The Ravens’ defense allowed New England to score 23 points. Ray Rice was unable to find much room to run. As Ray Lewis stated after the game: “Not one player won or lost this game.”

Speaking of Lewis, is there any question as to who the leader is in the Ravens locker room? When discussing his missed kick, Cundiff expressed specific remorse for letting Lewis down.

“It’s a kick I’ve kicked a thousand times in my career, there’s really no excuse for it,” Cundiff explained according to The Capital. “I get paid to make field goals. I don’t get paid to miss field goals. You know that Ray Lewis has poured his heart out, and you don’t know how many years he has left. To let him down is pretty tough.”

Lewis doesn’t have many years left, but he has at least one.  After the loss, he was emphatic about the fact that he will return next year for another season.  The Ravens will once again be one of the AFC’s better teams, but the age of their defense is something to keep an eye on.  Lewis is 36 years old and Ed Reed battled a number of injuries this season.  If Flacco continues to let the media bother him and cannot become an elite NFL quarterback, the Ravens will have a tough road.  With an experienced but aging defense, it has become clear Baltimore will need more from its offense heading into 2012.

H/T Pro Football Talk

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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