Baltimore Ravens Game Balls: Smith and Smith


What an important win for the Baltimore Ravens last night. This win propels them to 7-4, while helping them keep pace with the tight AFC North and the intense Wild Card race.

There were many factors that were key to the Ravens victory, including the more noticed guys like Justin Forsett and Will Hill, who both played fantastic. That said, let’s give the receiving core some love. I think the receivers as a whole played their best game of the season last night. Torrey Smith and Steve Smith Sr. were sensational.

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Early in the season, it was Steve Smith who was the clear favorite target of Joe Flacco. In the first six games of the season, Smith Sr. averaged 95.5 yards per game while hauling in four touchdowns. Smith Sr. did begin to slow down as the season wore on, only averaging 38.75 yards per game in the four games prior to Monday night’s clash.

Nothing like a bye week and an old NFC South rival to get the wily veteran back on track. Smith Sr. made a beautiful touchdown catch early in the first quarter to set the tone of the game, and continued to make big plays both as a pass catcher and as a blocker. In total, Smith Sr. had 4 receptions for 89  yards along with that beautiful touchdown catch.

Torrey Smith also had a fantastic game last night in New Orleans. He definitely had a very slow start to the season, only averaging 35.2 yards per game in the Ravens’ first five contests this season.

Then, as Steve Smith Sr. regressed, Torrey rose from the ashes and began averaging about 61 yards a game with five touchdowns over the past six games.

The Smiths had a combined 9 receptions for 187 yards and a touchdown. The Ravens were 9-13 on third down, thanks in large parts to their efforts. The Ravens converted six first downs via the pass, and five out of those six went to Torrey and Steve Smith.

The Ravens have struggled on third down of late, but if Steve and Torrey stay hot, their third down issues will dissipate as they did last night.

If Steve Smith Sr. and Torrey Smith continue to play like this, the Ravens will be playing into January like Ravens’ fans are accustomed to seeing.