Robert Griffin III's first start of the 2020 season came with a daunting task: beat the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, on the road, with a roster missing several key starters.
Baltimore would keep it close, though, as they narrowly fell to Pittsburgh, 19-14 on a Wednesday afternoon edition of Sunday Night Football.
After the game, Griffin told reporters that he felt Baltimore would have won the game, had he not suffered a hamstring injury in the second quarter, one he ultimately tried to play through before leaving the matchup in the final frame.
"I felt like I let the team down," Griffin said. "I know we're not supposed to really comment on injuries but I pulled my hamstring in the second quarter. I felt like if I hadn't done that, we would have won this game. It's just unfortunate."
Griffin's final stat line is unimpressive, as he completed just 7-of-12 passes for 33 yards and an interception, one that would give Pittsburgh its first touchdown of the game.
He did impact the game with his legs though, as Griffin rushed for 68 yards on seven carries, including a 39-yard scamper that was the longest rush since his rookie year in 2012.
Griffin's stat line isn't a fair assessment of his performance, though.
The quarterback led Baltimore on a touchdown drive in the first half following a Steelers fumble, one that would give the Ravens an early lead. Just before halftime, Baltimore had the chance to punch it in once again, but Griffin's end zone toss to Luke Willson fell incomplete as time expired, following what should have been a delay of game penalty on Pittsburgh's defense.
After Griffin tweaked his hamstring, a dropoff in play was noticeable. He was eventually replaced by Trace McSorley in the fourth quarter, and a 70-yard touchdown to Marquise Brown would bring the Ravens within a score late. But Baltimore would never get the ball back again, and as a result, drop their fifth game of the season.
"There are a lot of emotions running through my head," Griffin said postgame. "I didn't want to quit on my teammates and it was real emotional trying to fight through that."
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh praised Griffin for his effort and trying to play through the injury, too.
"I thought Robert played really hard," Harbaugh said. "He really fought, made some plays for us there, especially on the drive at the end of the half and throughout. But he had a hamstring and he was fighting through it the whole game. That was really the major factor."
Football isn't a game of 'what ifs,' but Griffin truly does feel Wednesday's game would have gone differently, had he been himself the entire afternoon.
"The reason we lost today, in my opinion, is because of me. Whether it was the turnovers or the injury, I felt like I let my teammates down," Griffin said. "But I just feel like they needed me to be RG3 today, and just as I was starting to do that and helping us be in position to win the game, I let them down."