Loss to Chiefs still resonates with Ravens players

OWINGS MILLS — Ravens wide receiver Zay Flowers is still bothered by the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game.

While Flowers finished with five catches for 115 yards — one yard shy of matching Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce for the game-high — with a touchdown, he made two costly mistakes that impacted the game.

After catching a 54-yard pass from quarterback Lamar Jackson late in the third quarter, Flowers was penalized 15 yards for taunting after the catch that moved the ball back to the Chefs’ 25-yard line instead of the 10.

Flowers then fumbled just before crossing the goal line on an 8-yard pass from Jackson that was recovered by Kansas City in the end zone early in the fourth quarter and the Chiefs held on for the 17-10 victory.

“Honestly, I still [haven’t] gotten over it,” Flowers said Wednesday at the Raven’s OTA. “I still think about it, but I know next year, we have a chance to get back there and try to make it to the Super Bowl, so that’s why I’m working every day and going hard every day to get back to that moment.”

However, Flowers has reshifted his focus heading into the second season. He’s looking to build on last year’s success when he led the team with 77 receptions for 858 yards and five touchdowns.

So, playing the Chiefs in the opener is incidental.

“Honestly, I’m not really worried about them,” Flowers said. “I’m worried about getting better every day and making sure we’re ready when that time comes. So, it’s just been about us, really.”

Quarterback Lamar Jackson is not putting too much emphasis on the opener. He knows the Ravens will ultimately be judged on how they perform in the playoffs.

“I really don’t care who we play; it really didn’t matter,” Jackson said. “At the end of the day, our goal is to make it to the Super Bowl. We lost to them in the playoffs. Just us beating them in the regular season doesn’t really do anything; it just helps us keep stacking up wins to hopefully make it to the playoffs if anything to try to get in that same position again and hopefully be successful.

“It really doesn’t matter who we play [in the] first game; obviously it’s the Chiefs, but I really didn’t care.”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh also downplayed the significance of playing the Chiefs in the opener. He is just excited about getting the seasons started.

“We’ll be ready and would have been ready for any opener no matter who we were playing,” Harbaugh said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

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