Kamar Aiken knew the Hail Mary pass at the end of the second quarter was intended for whichever Ravens player could catch it, but like so many other times this season, he stepped up and made the play himself.
His 48-yard touchdown reception as time expired in the first half keyed what was a career day for Aiken, who caught eight passes for 128 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens' 34-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
"We work on that type of scenario in practice," Aiken said. "I was just gauging where they were and where the ball was, and I noticed it was going to come up a little short. Their [defensive backs] were still back-pedaling, so I said it was my play to make."
Aiken seemed to come out of nowhere on the play, running down the left sideline and cutting in front of a horde of Ravens receivers and Chiefs defenders waiting for the floating ball inside Kansas City's 10-yard line.
The play gave the Ravens a faint bit of hope at the time, as it pulled them within 10 points at the break. In the first half, Aiken compiled a career-high 117 yards on six catches while the rest of the Ravens receivers had a combined four catches for 10 yards.
Aiken, who has caught five passes or more in seven straight games and has 42 catches for 528 yards and three touchdowns since Steve Smith Sr. was injured in the third quarter of the Ravens' Week 8 win over the San Diego Chargers, sounded like he took little satisfaction in his performance.
"Personally, my whole thing is I'd rather win a game," Aiken said. "I'd rather have 10 yards and have a 'W' than have 100-some yards with a loss. That's just me, personally."
Coach John Harbaugh took a similar view, saying Aiken was a player he'd single out if the team had won. Quarterback Jimmy Clausen had no such qualms.
"He's just a playmaker," Clausen said. "When the ball's thrown his way, he's catching it and taking it out of the air and making plays."
Aiken is standing out to veteran guard Marshal Yanda as an example of "everyone fighting, no matter what."
"He is just fighting his tail off every single play," Yanda said. "No matter if we are down or up or we are 14-0 or 0-14, you're going to get consistent play from him. He's showing up as a consistent player, which is great for him."