Baltimore Ravens

Ravens will 'have hands full' with Jaguars' receivers

If the Ravens were anxious about Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins in the season opener, their worries should be amplified for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Last season, the Jaguars' duo of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns joined the New York Jets' Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, the Denver Broncos' Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, and the Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown as the only teammates to post 1,000 receiving yards apiece.


Robinson set franchise single-season records in touchdown catches (14) and receptions of at least 20 yards (31) en route to being named to his first Pro Bowl. At the age of 24, Hurns became the youngest undrafted player in league history to register 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in the same season.

"They're good, talented receivers that are aggressive getting the ball," Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith said. "[They] make a lot of catches and have a lot of yards. They're just as good as any top receiver in the league."


The Ravens are familiar with Robinson and Hurns, who were held to 51 and 62 yards, respectively, on five catches apiece in Jacksonville's 22-20 win on Nov. 15 last season. The Ravens' pass defense ranks first in the NFL through the first two games this season, having surrendered just 168.5 yards per game without giving up 100 yards to a receiver.

The Jaguars rank fifth in passing, averaging 309.5 yards thus far with quarterback Blake Bortles under center. Although Hurns (nine receptions for 139 yards) and Robinson (nine for 126) have yet to score this fall, they have support from tight ends Julius Thomas (nine for 135 yards and one touchdown) and Marcedes Lewis (four for 65 yards and one touchdown).

Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees said the entire unit must be concerned with every receiving threat for Jacksonville, especially Robinson and Hurns.

"They can go," he said. "It's kind of like the first week with Watkins a little bit. These guys can take the top off of a defense really fast. They've got great speed, they're good route runners, the quarterback's got a strong arm. They're a good set of core receivers, and you guys know the tight ends. You've got Marcedes Lewis who has been around forever, and [No.] 80 [Thomas] is a tight end who could be a wideout. So we've got our hands full. They're a really talented, talented football team. They're just struggling to put it together, and I hope they struggle one more week."