It was an aerial game dominated by Ravens veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin, so much so that another sterling performance by wide receiver Torrey Smith was overshadowed a bit.
While Boldin caught a game-high nine passes for 131 yards, Smith contributed six receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown. He split the Cleveland Browns' secondary on an 18-yard touchdown to open the Ravens' scoring during a 23-16 victory Thursday night at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Browns tried to employ a Cover 2 scheme, but Smith ran past their coverage attempts and scored uncontested as he caught a pass in stride from quarterback Joe Flacco.
"Yeah, I saw the coverage and I just knew with the route I had that I had a great chance of getting open," Smith said. "And I got even with the safety, and I knew once I got even with him, Joe threw a great ball, and I all I did was cross his and just catch it."
Smith averaged 16.2 yards per reception, also catching a 34-yard pass.
"I did all right," Smith said. "You can always play better. We won, so I'm all right. The Browns did a little bit of everything. They mixed it up. They're very aggressive. We just ran our routes."
Smith, whose younger brother died in a motorcycle accident last weekend prior to the Ravens' win over the New England Patriots, has now caught three touchdown passes in the past two games.
Through four games, Smith has caught 16 passes for a team-high 332 yards and three touchdowns with an average of 20.8 yards per reception. He's on pace for 64 receptions, 1,328 yards and a dozen touchdowns.
Smith has caught six passes that have generated at least 25 yards this season.
Boldin has 19 receptions for 249 yards and one touchdown and is on pace for 77 receptions for 996 yards. Tight end Dennis Pitta has 18 receptions for 188 yards and two touchdowns, on pace for 72 receptions for 752 yards.
Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice leads the Ravens with 22 receptions for 174 yards, a pace of 88 receptions for 696 yards.
"Next week, it could be Jacoby [Jones] or Tandon [Doss] in the same situation," Smith said. "We go out tehre and run the routes."
Meanwhile, second-year wide receiver Tandon Doss caught a career-high 39-yard pass against the Browns.
"Based on coverage, Joe gave me the signal to go inside," said Doss, who was drafted in the fourth round last year from Indiana and had no catches as a rookie. "Yeah, I needed that. It's been a while. I'm happy I did it. I hope I keep making plays."
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun