Baltimore's faithful took it personally, watching a share of first place in the AFC North slip away in the loss. The city's talk-radio circuit went radioactive after the game, with fans unleashing a stream of vitriol on WJZ-FM.
A sampling of the aggravation:
» From a fuming caller named Brian: "After looking at film for the last couple weeks, Joe Flacco has not proved that he can beat anyone, OK? (The Jaguars) challenged him and they said, 'Joe, you have to beat us, we don't have any faith in you, you're not a top-10 quarterback. I don't know who keeps telling you that.' ... I am so tired of hearing ... 'Oh well, he'll never be Peyton Manning or he'll never be Tom Brady. Well guess what, folks? He's a first-round pick. We expect this guy to be better."
» From a gentleman named Eli (presumably not Manning, throwing stones at glass houses): "Oh my goodness, man. This is an epic fail. I can't believe this. I mean, for them not to be able to get a first down until the middle of the third quarter, it's got to be one of the worst offensive displays in Ravens history. ... I don't blame Flacco that much -- the receivers couldn't get open. ... What's going to happen when Lee Evans gets back? I mean, nothing special. Do we really need to shop around for a receiver? Maybe even (Terrell Owens) or somebody?"
» From James, who was as peeved as those before him: "I am beyond disappointed in this team. I would give a B-minus to defense. I give a G-minus to offense, as in 'garbage.' "
Is this a fan base that's done with Flacco? Despite the fact that he has led Baltimore to a 36-18 regular-season record (and 5-3 in the playoffs) over three-plus seasons, Flacco isn't viewed among the NFL's elite. Ravens fans must look at Monday's embarrassment and wonder how they'll make it through a rough-and-tumble Super Bowl run with an offense that periodically loses its way in such convincing fashion.