The offensive question in the off-season all had to do with Torrey Smith. The Ravens were bringing everyone back accept for their #1 wide receiver, Anquan Boldin. For the Ravens offense to be as successful as they were in the playoffs last year, they were going to need Torrey Smith to step up.
Well, through four games, this is not even close to be a problem for Torrey and the Ravens. Smith has put up great numbers thus far. He ranks 3rd in the NFL in total yards and 2nd in the league in yards per catch. In yards per catch he is only behind Santonio Holmes who has 11 fewer catches than Smith. Torrey is on pace for 84 catches and 1740 yards. This yardage figure would be close to matching the total yards he had for his career coming into the season.
The one issue that Smith has had this year is his catch percentage. In his first season, Torrey Smith was just above the 50% mark in terms of receptions vs. targets. Last season he dipped well below that number. So far in the 2013 campaign, Torrey is right at 50%. This number is going to need to get higher. Part of the reason this is happening is due to trust. Flacco goes back and can’t find anyone to throw to, so he tries to throw Torrey open, the one receiver out there that he trusts.
Marlon Brown has been a pleasant surprise, but without other receivers creating separation, Joe is going to have to continue throwing to Torrey who is starting to draw double teams. Torrey has done an outstanding job with the added pressure this season. He is the number one guy and has acted the part. He has staggering numbers thus far (compared to his career numbers), but this cannot continue if he does not get help. Brown, Tandon Doss, Ed Dickson and Dallas Clark need to get one on one separation. On many plays, these guys are simply matched up with a corner, linebacker or safety, but are unable to go anywhere. A running game of some sort would certainly help.
Torrey has stepped up more than anyone could have expected, but I don’t think this can continue unless there is someone else. Pitta was supposed to take the leap with Torrey, but is not out there. I am not even sure if the answer is on the team. The fact remains that Torrey and more importantly Joe Flacco need help. The numbers for Smith have been unreal this year, but they can’t stay that way without a second guy. Defenses will shade to him more than they already have and if others can’t beat man coverage and the running game can’t get going – the offense is going to get even worse.