Tale of the tape on Torrey Smith's 54-yard reception vs. the Steelers
Each week, reporter and blogger Matt Vensel breaks down a critical play, sometimes with the help of Ravens players and coaches, from that week's game. Today, he breaks down wide receiver Torrey Smith's 54-yard catch in the first quarter of Thursday's 22-20 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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1.( Screenshot / December 3, 2013 )
This season has been filled with missed opportunities for quarterback Joe Flacco and his wide receivers when it comes to the deep passing game. The Ravens were able to drop a couple of bombs on the New York Jets in Week 12, but Flacco has not duplicated his impressive deep passing numbers from 2012.
That hasn't stopped the Ravens from attempting to attack defenses vertically, and on their first drive of Thursday's 22-20 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Flacco threw a pair of deep passes over the Steelers.
"We have some guys who can run, as you know, so that's No. 1," Ravens coach John Harbaugh explained after the game. "No. 2, they're going to put some guys up there and put some pressure on you, whether it's blitzing or it's defending the run. And when you do that, you might open up some deep opportunities. I think right out of the gates, we wanted to make sure we took advantage of those things and push them off us a little bit. We do think we can make plays down the field with our guys."
On their first play from scrimmage, the Ravens called a play-action pass and wide receiver Jacoby Jones broke free as Flacco bootlegged to his right, but Flacco's pass was underthrown and fell incomplete. Four plays later, Flacco faked another handoff and threw deep again. This time his throw was on the money and he connected with wide receiver Torrey Smith for a big pass play that set the tone for the offense.
The Ravens used their 11 personnel on the play, with Jones alone on the numbers on the left side of the field and Smith on the right sideline with fellow receiver Marlon Brown next to him in the slot. Tight end Ed Dickson was in a three-point stance next to left tackle Eugene Monroe. Running back Ray Rice was behind Flacco in the pistol formation, a look the Ravens have used often over the past few weeks.