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Ravens wide receivers catch a case of the drops against the Bengals

"You have to make those plays. In the first half, we had a number of drops, and we have to clean that up," said John Harbaugh. "Our guys have good hands." (Kevin Richardson/Baltmiore sun video)

It was an ugly recurring scene for the Ravens' wide receivers, dropping the football and staring at their hands afterward.

Ravens receivers unofficially had seven dropped passes, including four by five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Steve Smith, and two for wide receiver Jacoby Jones.

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Jones dropped a pass over the middle in the fourth quarter when the Ravens were trying to mount a comeback. He also muffed a punt in the fourth quarter that he recovered.

"Miscues, simple mistakes, gotta get back to our fundamentals, do what we do best," said Jones, who caught just two passes for 16 yards while being targeted seven times. "Gotta block it out and let this one go and get back in the classroom and the practice field."

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When asked about the dropped passes, Jones said, "I gotta go, man," and left the locker room.

Smith is normally sure-handed, but was prone to drops Sunday. He caught an 80-yard touchdown to finish with seven receptions for 118 yards, but was thrown to 15 times.

As frustrated as Smith was, he said Jones was even more flustered by the drops.

"Of course, Jacoby is upset at his self," Smith said. "He said he's never had a game like that before. It just shows you that if you play long enough, games are going to come where you can catch everything and then there are games where you can't catch a cold butt-naked in Alaska with a flu shot.

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"You've got to understand what's going on and why. Just taking my eyes off the ball, just anxious and wanting to make a play. You have to have a short memory."

Wide receiver Torrey Smith and rookie running back Lorenzo Taliaferro both dropped one pass apiece.

"In the first half, we had a number of drops and we have to clean that up," Harbaugh said. "Our guys have good hands. There's nothing that they're not capable of doing. We stumbled a little bit for some reason."

Justin Tucker misfires

Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker failed to connect on a 55-yard field goal in the first half, hooking it when a cross-wind sent it sailing wide of the right goal post.

Tucker made 38 of 41 field goals last season, including 6 of 7 from beyond 50 yards.

"Yeah, I made good contact on the ball," Tucker said. "I tried to drive it into that cross wind and it just kind of took off on me."

Tucker made a 38-yard field goal later in the game.

"We're all about bouncing back," he said. "We made the next attempt. Obviously, the big thing is we didn't get the team result."

Slippery footing

Several offensive players fell to the ground during the game while cutting. It's unclear if it was the artificial turf or their cleats.

"I don't know what was up with the field," Harbaugh said. "Between that and the drops, really threw off our timing in the passing game in the first half."

Added Steve Smith: "They were falling, too."

No pass rush

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton won for the first time in four games in Baltimore, completing 25 of 38 passes for 301 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.

Dalton had plenty of time to operate as he was never sacked or even hit as he orchestrated the no-huddle offense.

"They had a plan to try to neutralize us," defensive end Chris Canty said. "They kept us off-balance with the no-huddle. They did some things, got the ball out of his hands pretty quickly to neutralize our pass rush. Unfortunately, we didn't make enough plays and they did and that was the difference in the ballgame."

Encouraging debut

Two-time Pro Bowl tight end Owen Daniels caught four passes for 34 yards following long period of inactivity during the preseason because of a hamstring problem.

Daniels said that too much was made out of his leg issues, adding that he's completely recovered from the broken leg that forced him on to injured reserve last season.

Daniels caught a pass for the 89th consecutive game, extending the longest streak among active tight ends.

"I felt good out there," Daniels said. "I thought I moved around well and just did what I could to help guys out. We tried to set a pace, but just made too many mistakes early in the game."

End zone

Besides Webb, the Ravens also scratched rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro (River Hill), 2013 second-round linebacker Arthur Brown, who's healthy, offensive linemen John Urschel and Jah Reid, wide receiver Deonte Thompson and rookie running back Fitzgerald Toussaint. … The Bengals scratched cornerback Darqueze Dennard (hip), running back Rex Burkhead (knee), wide receiver Marvin Jones (foot), linebacker Sean Porter (hamstring), wide receiver James Wright (concussion), center-guard T.J. Johnson and defensive end Will Clarke.

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsider

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