It was an emotional Ravens locker room after Baltimore's 13-10 loss to the Steelers tonight.
Players dressed quietly, some shook their heads and mumbled to themselves while walking to or from the showers, and others, like linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed, declined to talk to reporters as they left.
This had the feel of a postseason loss. And while it's only Week 13 and the Ravens still have four games left to solidify a solid playoff seed, the reason why there was so much frustration in the air after the game is because the players know that they let one slip away.
"We gave them the game," wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh said. "They know it, we know it, everybody watching the game knows we gave them the game. Pretty much gift-wrapped it. It's the way the NFL is. It shouldn't be that way. I don't think the better team won. I felt like we had it under control and they made the plays. Period."
Up by seven over their arch rivals at the half. Up by four with three minutes to play. It all seemed to be well in hand.
But the offense's inability to tack on additional points and the defense's poor tackling around the goal line on a third and goal late in the game added up to one crucial statistic: For the sixth time this season, the Ravens had blown a fourth quarter lead, and for the fourth time, that resulted in a loss.
It's becoming a tiresome trend for this team, one which has plenty of talent and shows flashes of elite play, but can't carry that level through a full 60 minutes.
"It's like a playoff game; you've got to play four quarters," linebacker Jarret Johnson said. "You can't play three and play all the way up until the last three minutes. It's too bad, because we felt like we controlled the entire game, and then you look up, and it's over. We have to get past this. We have to win some games and move ahead."
The Ravens have gotten away with their lack of a killer instinct against lesser teams.
They were able to pull out close, late wins over the Browns, Bills and Buccaneers and save themselves from embarrassing losses to those squads.
But against quality, playoff teams like the Patriots, Falcons and Steelers, the Ravens haven't been able to get the job done in the fourth quarter. Baltimore has held late leads in all three of those contests, and each time, they've stumbled.
Whether it's the fault of the offense for failing to play at a high level, or the defense for being unable to hold the lead, the Ravens simply haven't been tough enough to clamp down and get the job done.
They're well aware of this fact, which is why there were so many frustrated players solemnly milling around the locker room after the game tonight.
"We've got to finish as a team, man," linebacker Tavares Gooden said. "That's what it's all about. You look into people's eyes and you can't let them down. It's a fight, and we've got to find ways to win if we're talking championship. If you're talking about championship, you've got to play like it for four quarters.
"When we see we've got a team down and there's a certain time left on the clock, let's work our plays, man. We practice to be great. We practice to win championships. And, point blank, you've got to take what you do from practice - the effort, everything - and you've got to apply it to the game field. No excuses. Back to the drawing board."