Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens didn’t have their A-game throughout Sunday’s AFC championship matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs, but even so, there were still chances to capitalize on.

The Chiefs tallied just 17 points the entire night, giving Jackson and the Ravens a ray of hope. With a scoring deficit not far beyond reach, and plenty of time remaining to muster up a comeback, Baltimore fell flat on its face.

With 6:53 left in the fourth quarter, Jackson targeted tight end Isaiah Likely in the end zone, which could’ve sliced Kansas City’s lead to three points. The (main) problem? Jackson aimed for Likely in triple coverage, allowing the Chiefs to intercept the pass and put an end to Baltimore’s season.

“I just tried to, like, let him turn around and make a play,” Jackson told reporters postgame, per team-provided video. “I thought it was going to be (ruled a pass interference), but it is what it is. The safety made a great play.”

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Jackson added: “I felt like if we didn’t turn the ball over, we would’ve definitely had a shot. We definitely would’ve come out with a win.”

The Ravens had one job on that drive to keep its hopes of a Super Bowl appearance alive: Don’t come up scoreless. At the very least, a field goal was needed, but squandering a critical scoring chance — especially against the defending champion Chiefs — was a recipe for disaster.

Baltimore’s 17-10 loss to Kansas City became a learning lesson for the much less experienced Ravens following a promising NFL-best 13-4 run in the regular season.

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Jackson, a prime candidate for regular season MVP, finished the night completing 20-of-37 attempts while racking up 272 yards passing with just a single touchdown.

“We gonna build. This offseason, we gonna get right, get better, grind and try to be in this position again, but on the other side — a victory,” Jackson said.

On the flip side, the Chiefs advance to their fourth Super Bowl appearance in the last five seasons, awaiting the result of the NFC title battle between the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers.

Featured image via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images