Moments after the Baltimore Ravens' 27-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the 37-year-old wideout told a CBS sideline reporter that he's "going home to Charlotte to build my family".
"We're going to have to live with this season until we get together for training camp", said Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco."Leaving it out there and coming up short (last week) was tough". After talking all week about the importance of the game, the Ravens' play on both sides of the ball exhibited absolutely no sense of urgency.
Cincinnati ran for 153 yards on the Ravens, racking up 25 first downs and overall controlling momentum and tempo against a flat squad of visitors.
So here they are, heading to Cincinnati - a place where they often finish the regular season - trying to find motivation for their depressing ending.
Mike Preston, Ravens columnist: This was the worst game the Ravens have ever played under coach John Harbaugh.
But Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah caught a 1-yard TD pass, also his first career TD, from Dalton making the score 14-3 at the end of the first quarter. Instead, they were overmatched in the first half and underwhelming in the second.
Counting the fourth quarter of the Christmas-night game at Pittsburgh, that meant the Ravens' fading defense allowed points on seven consecutive drives. Rex Burkhead dominated the ground game with 27 carries for 119 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Justin Tucker answered with a 30-yard field goal, his 38th three-pointer of the year, tying his own 2013 team record. He topped 4,000 yards passing for the second time in his career, finishing with 4,206. His biggest problems were getting separation as a receiver and fielding kicks as a returner.
"We didn't play our best football", Flacco said.