Zay Flowers fumbles would-be TD into end zone to derail Ravens rally in AFC championship loss to Chiefs

Zay Flowers had a sequence to forget at a pivotal moment in Sunday's AFC championship game.

The Baltimore Ravens receiver turned the ball over just inches from the goal line, then reportedly cut his hand while slamming the bench in frustration. The sequence derailed a Ravens rally en route to a 17-10 Chiefs win that eliminated Baltimore and secured a fourth Kansas City Super Bowl berth in five seasons.

With Kansas City leading 17-7 early in the fourth quarter, Lamar Jackson found Flowers on a crossing route in the red zone. Flowers cut toward the end zone, then dove and stretched the ball out in an attempt to cross the goal line. He didn't quite get there.

Chiefs cornerback L'Jarius Sneed punched the ball out just short of the goal line. The ball then bounced into the end zone, where Kansas City recovered it for a touchback.

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Instead of a touchdown to cut Baltimore's deficit to 17-14 early in the fourth quarter, Kansas City took over possession with a 17-7 lead. Making matters worse, Flowers exacerbated the mistake with another one.

He slammed his hands on the Ravens bench and his helmet after the play. CBS reports that Flowers cut his left hand while venting his frustration.

Fortunately for Flowers, the injury didn't sideline him. But plenty of damage had already been done at a pivotal moment in the game.

Redemption for Sneed

For Sneed, his punch-out signaled redemption after Flowers beat him for a big catch to set up the red-zone attempt, then taunted him after the play. Flowers caught a 54-yard pass from Jackson to get Baltimore to the Kansas City 10-yard line. He then shoved Sneed to the turf and threw the ball at his head.

Officials flagged Flowers for a taunting penalty that pushed the Ravens back to the 25-yard line. Four plays later, Sneed forced the Flowers fumble that ended Baltimore's best chance of making it a close game.

The Ravens would eventually score a field goal to cut their deficit to seven points, but the Chiefs responded by running out the clock on their final possession to secure the victory.

OBJ consoles Flowers, Jackson after loss

After the game, Jackson and Flowers were visibly upset. Veteran receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who won a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams after the 2021 season, was there to console them both.

The loss marked a bitter end to a sensational Ravens season that leaves Jackson still in search of a Super Bowl ring.