With 51 catches and 792 yards, Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace is on pace to finish with 74 receptions and 1,152 yards. The catch total would edge his career high of 73 set in 2013 with the Miami Dolphins – whom the Ravens face Sunday – and the yardage would be his most since 1,193 yards in 2011 with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Wallace's success might be startling considering his struggles in two seasons with the Dolphins and one with the Minnesota Vikings. But he credited it to the coaching staff's desire to employ him liberally in the offense.
"The coaches are giving me an opportunity to use what God gave me," he said. "Last year [in Minnesota], I didn't really have an opportunity to make many plays. But that's neither here nor there. There's a lot of circumstances and a lot of different things that go into it. I just feel there's an opportunity. The coaches believe in me, and they're giving me an opportunity to make plays."
Wallace, who owns the Ravens' four longest plays from scrimmage thus far, has used his speed to become a downfield threat for a unit that hasn't had one since Torrey Smith left via free agency after the 2014 campaign. Wallace has become a reliable outlet for quarterback Joe Flacco.
"He runs well and catches the ball," Flacco said. "His speed obviously allows him to separate from people underneath and deep. He has beaten a lot of people underneath this year and has got some yards after catches in recent weeks, and that is what has been a big part of it for us. Just beating man-to-man [coverage] underneath and letting him catch and run."
After finishing with 39 catches for 473 yards and two touchdowns last season with the Vikings, Wallace has experienced a revival of sorts with the Ravens. But a revival implies a change at the root level, and Wallace said he's the same player he was last year.
"I wouldn't say rejuvenated or refreshed because I'm doing the same thing that I've done the whole time," he said. "I work the same exact way, I take care of myself the same exact way. It's just a matter of opportunity. I play wide receiver, and football is about opportunity. As a wide receiver, you need so many things to go right, and I think it's just going right here."