Friday, November 21, 2014, 12:05pm
It certainly would follow Ravens QB Joe Flacco's trend of exploiting bad secondaries this season. In four games against pass defenses ranked in the bottom 10, Flacco has completed 65.9 percent of his throws and has averaged 281.5 yards passing. He has thrown 10 touchdowns and three interceptions for a 112.0 passer rating. The Saints are the NFL's ninth-worst pass defense, and they looked even worse in allowing Andy Dalton to regain his confidence.
The biggest concern with Flacco's inconsistency is he typically has his "down" games on the road. Since the start of the 2013 season, Flacco's passer rating on the road is 73.1, the fifth worst in the NFL over that span.
Saturday, November 15, 2014, 12:48pm
The Steve Smith redemption song has skipped in recent weeks.
The veteran wide receiver began the second chapter of his distinguished NFL career in wildly successful fashion, emerging immediately as Joe Flacco's favorite target with the Ravens. Smith was putting up All-Pro numbers, and making the Panthers look foolish while he was at it.
It was a win-win situation for the outspoken star.
Smith's impact has lessened in recent weeks, however. Smith had just three receptions for 17 yards against the Titans on Sunday. He's been held under 40 yards receiving in each of the last three weeks. This comes after an open to the season in which Smith eclipsed 100 yards receiving in four of Baltimore's first six games.
"It's getting spread around a little bit, but I think that's the nature of the game," Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said, according to CSNBaltimore.com. "I think Torrey (Smith) is playing as well as he's played all year the last few weeks. ... I have to always find ways to get guys the ball."
Torrey Smith was supposed to be the Ravens' No. 1 option when the season opened, the story said. Perhaps this is simply a case of the offense clicking into place. He has five touchdowns over the past five weeks. We figured Smith wasn't going to be left out of the offense forever. He's always been a boom or bust type of fantasy play but Smith certainly has big-play potential.
After a statistically down first half of the season, Torrey Smith had one of his better games in Pittsburgh Sunday night and feels he’s taking a better mental approach to the game.
Smith hauled in a 35-yard touchdown from quarterback Joe Flacco early in the first quarter and finished with four catches for 63 yards. It was one of his best games of the year.
“It is a mental thing the way I approach the game, the way I was attentive on the field,” he said. “I was definitely locked in on that. It is a brand new half of the season for me personally and I’m looking forward to making the plays that we need to get it done. And I have to do a lot more.”
Smith has four touchdowns in his last four games. He’s caught 11 passes for 195 yards during that span, which included being shut out in Cincinnati.
Through the first five weeks of the season, Smith was the #62 WR in fantasy football. Over the past four games, he is the #15 WR, gaining 195 yards and catching four touchdowns. That even includes a goose egg against a tough Cincinnati secondary.
In a run-heavy offense that stresses safer passes for quarterback Joe Flacco, Torrey Smith was never a strong bet to repeat last year's production. After leading the team in 2013 with 65 catches and 1,128 receiving yards, though, he's on pace for just 453 yards and 32 grabs in 2014.
"You can't get any closer than we've already been," Torrey said of his chemistry with Flacco, per The Baltimore Sun. "I have folks tweeting me how terrible I am, and I could very easily have had three touchdowns and 300 yards the past couple weeks. That's how the ball rolls. I'm not used to it, but we'll get over it soon. We were as close as you can get to touchdowns. We just have to be on the same page and get it done."
Said Torrey: "It'll happen. It has no choice but to happen. The way we've been practicing, it has no choice but to happen. I can't say when. I hope it's Sunday, but it'll happen soon."
With the focus on Steve L Smith's revenge game against the Panthers, it would be a good time for Flacco to connect on one or two deep balls to Torrey Smith. We're not counting on it, but he's a better player than he's showed in the first three weeks and Dennis Pitta's absence may send a few extra targets his way.
Friday, September 19, 2014, 7:09pm
Thursday, September 18, 2014, 6:30pm
Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 6:15pm
Flacco on Tuesday clarified comments he made to CBS broadcaster Solomon Wilcots, who in calling Sunday's game said the quarterback told him Smith needs to continue working on his underneath routes.
“I think most of what I said, what I said during training camp, was that in the past, a lot of those underneath things in the stop routes, on the sideline, things like that, they were the things that we probably struggled with a little bit," Flacco said Tuesday. "But so far this year, they have been incredible. What I believe, what I probably said or was referring to, is Torrey is a 1,000-yard receiver and he’s a 100-catch guy.
"And the thing that’s going to get him to those 100 catches is going to be it’s not going to be running by guys and catching home runs over the top and all the things that he does really, really well, because he has that talent. It’s going to be those little things."
Smith has always had more value in standard formats than PPR formats because he's not particularly adept at the short stuff. Smith averaged 4.06 catches in 2013 and had three in Week 1. To reach the 100-catch mark, he'll need to average 6.47 receptions in the final 15 games. Considering he only saw seven of Flacco's 62 pass attempts in Week 1, we feel that this mark is a long shot. However, Flacco's insistence is encouraging from the standpoint that Smith should be more involved than he was in Week 1.
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 2:06pm
The veteran wideout looked more like a rookie trying to earn his spot rather than of a 14-year veteran with a standout resume. Smith put his intensity on display for his best performance of the preseason in the Ravens' 23-17 victory over Washington.
"That's kind of vintage Steve Smith," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "It was great to see that."
Smith was arguably the best player on the field. He caught a game-high six passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown grab was a 24-yard diving catch in the back of the end zone near the end of the first half, which gave the Ravens a lead they would build on for the victory.
"I think this was a big step with him," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "There's a reason he's been in the league as long as he has and it's because he goes out there and fights every day."
Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 11:29am
The Ravens first-team line hasn’t allowed a sack in six possessions over two games. The zone stretch running game is booming, leading the NFL in yards per game. Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak has QB Joe Flacco throwing to his fullback, tight ends, receivers.
A year ago, Flacco was sacked almost 50 times, constantly under duress. His favorite wideout was gone from the huddle, traded during the offseason. His favorite tight end was injured. His passing game was predictable. His running game was missing in action.
Not only is the offense rebuilt around him with a better line, more playmakers and a topnotch coordinator, but Flacco is 29 years old, in the prime of his career, his seventh season as a starter.
The writer predicted Flacco would have his best season ever this year. Keep in mind, this is from the Ravens web site, but there are some good points, especially about the offensive line. Perhaps even more important, Flacco has some targets to work with and gets TE Dennis Pitta back. Flacco is rarely mentioned as a fantasy QB1, and is currently ranked 24th on our list. He could end up with QB2 value or give you some committee starts this season, though.
Saturday, August 9, 2014, 5:16pm
Only a scaled-down version of new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak's playbook was revealed Thursday night, but the Ravens' overhauled offense got positive reviews.
Based on the limited sample of 10 plays during the Ravens' opening drive against the San Francisco 49ers, quarterback Joe Flacco is upbeat about the potential of the offense.
Flacco orchestrated an 80-yard drive that lasted nearly five minutes and was capped by running back Bernard Pierce's pounding 2-yard touchdown run behind blocks from right guard Marshal Yanda and right tackle Bill Wagner.
"We ran the ball really well and protected really well," Flacco said Saturday before a joint practice with the 49ers at the Ravens' training complex. "There is a lot to build on. I think we built a good foundation there. I think each week from here on out, we have to keep showing that improvement and building off what we did.”
During that drive, Flacco completed 4 of 5 passes for 52 yards. He had a long completion of 17 yards to versatile fullback Kyle Juszczyk and connected with tight end Dennis Pitta on a 14-yard screen. Flacco also had a 12-yard throw to wide receiver Jacoby Jones and a 9-yard pass to new wide receiver Steve Smith.
Ravens Steve L Smith continues to prove he has the best hands of all the Ravens receivers. His best catch on Thursday was reaching behind him for a low pass that would've been intercepted by Chykie Brown. Judging from camp, quarterback Joe Flacco has built a trust that Smith will catch anything thrown close to him.
Smith will likely see the third-most targets behind Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta. Anquan Boldin finished #34 and #30 as the Ravens' WR2 in 2011 and 2012, respectively, so that's probably Smith’s ceiling as he joins a new team. At 35, he’ll more likely finish as a spot starter/fantasy reserve.
Rice had regained much of his old quickness, displaying an ability to run away from defenders that all but disappeared during the worst season of his NFL career last year.
Rice has lost roughly 20 pounds since last season, when he weighed as much as 225 pounds while struggling with hip and quadriceps injuries that robbed him of his ability to elude pursuit or break tackles.
"I think we’ve looked really good, and [Rice] has done a great job of pressing, cutting, getting in there and having the explosion afterward," said Flacco. "He’s shown a lot."
At just 26 years old, it was surprising to see Rice's production fall off the way it did, but he was dealing with hip and quad injuries throughout the season. He was also coming off of a Super Bowl run the previous year, which likely wore him down. GM Ozzie Newsome said he expects Rice to return to Pro Bowl form, but HC John Harbaugh said after the season that the team could take more of a committee approach at running back, which would limit Rice's upside. Still, assuming his offseason legal issues don't impact his availability, he is a bounceback candidate in Gary Kubiak's offense.
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