Unless the nameplate on the back of their jersey says "Smith," the Ravens are having issues getting the ball into the hands of their wideouts.
Last week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were just handing out touchdowns to everyone. Two of Joe Flacco's franchise record five touchdowns in the first half went to rookies, seventh-round pick Michael Campanaro and undrafted Kamar Aiken. While it was great to see both players find their way into the end zone - especially Campanaro on an acrobatic catch - I still don't believe that the Ravens are as deep in a position as others believe. They have plenty of guys with "potential," but as they saying goes towards head coaches in the NFL, "potential will get you fired."
The exception to all of this is Steve Smith, Sr., whom is currently ranked fifth in the NFL for receiving yards (573) and tenth in receptions (35). Aside from Smith Sr. and Torrey Smith finding the end zone twice in the first quarter against the Buccaneers, there hasn't been much to write home about for the group.
Steve is clearly the top option and Torrey is a upper-echelon number two. However, unlike many, I believe Torrey will turn his slow start around. Through his first six games this season, Smith has only 15 receptions and 227 yards. It's a stat-line that he's probably not that happy about but the game against the Buccaneers was a great slump buster and I think he's on his way up from there.
Sadly, after you finish talking about the Smith's - cue the crickets.
Thus far, even the rookies have outshined Jacoby Jones. While everyone else was catching passes and scoring touchdowns, Jones only was targeted once during his 19 snaps. On the season, he only has four catches for 50 yards. What makes his stat-line even worse is the five drops that doesn't show up in traditional box scores.
Marlon Brown may be the Ravens best option as a third receiver but he has been injured and hasn't been able to backup his breakout rookie campaign to date. Like Jones, Brown is stuck on four receptions and only has 46 yards on the season.
Considering the wide receiver stats, you'd expect the Ravens offense to be ranked in the bottom half of the league in offense; however, they're sitting pretty ranked at eighth overall thanks to Steve Smith, Sr. and finding lightning in a bottle with Justin Forsett at running back.
I'm not ready to write the rookies off at all, especially Campanaro. One thing the Ravens have shown is that rookies don't often make an instant contribution to the team, especially late round picks. Campanaro could be a great fit for the Ravens in years to come, but he also didn't even catch his first pass until last week.
With so much of the offensive production focused on two players, if one of them falls off it could be detrimental to the direction the Ravens are heading. Last week's curb-stomping of the Bucaneers was nice, but for the same reason the Ravens were able to score five first-half touchdowns is the same reason I'm not putting a lot of stock in those players that showed up this past Sunday. What they did is nice, but it doesn't carry the same weight had it been against any of the Ravens other five previous opponents.
You can't really argue with an eighth-ranked offense and a team that's 4-2, but I'm just not as comfortable as others with what the Ravens currently have on their roster for receiver aside from those named Smith.
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