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On pace for career lows in catches and yards, Maclin focuses on Ravens' team success

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh talks about offensive lineman Matt Skura, cornerback Jimmy Smith, and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. (Baltimore Sun video)

It has been an odd season thus far for Jeremy Maclin.

Although the wide receiver leads the Ravens in touchdown catches with three and ranks third in both receptions and yards with 19 and 212, respectively, he is on pace to set career lows in the last two categories. Maclin is projected to finish with 38 catches and 424 yards, which would fall far short of last season's totals of 44 and 536, when he sat out four games because of a torn groin.

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But Maclin is not stressing out about his individual numbers.

"That's just how the chips have fallen so far," he said before Wednesday's practice. "We still have a lot of football left. We'll see how the second half of the season pans out. As long as we win the football game, that's what it's all about."

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Maclin's numbers have been affected by a nagging shoulder injury that forced him to miss two straight games. But as uneven as the current season has been, Maclin made an immediate impact in his first game back, catching three balls for a team-high 53 yards and one touchdown in Thursday night's 40-0 throttling of the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium.

"It felt good, just to finally be able to play again after sitting out the previous two weeks," Maclin, 29, said. "Just being out there playing with the guys, that's what it's all about. I was fortunate enough to get in the end zone last week. But it felt good."

The hope around the offense is that last week's explosion is a harbinger of what could come in the final eight games of the season. The first test occurs Sunday at the Tennessee Titans, which ranks 19th in pass defense and has surrendered 13 passing touchdowns.

Six days after taking a vicious hit to the hit by Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is practicing and feeling good.

"Jeremy Maclin's a big part of our game plan right now," coach John Harbaugh said. "He's going to be a factor in this game for sure. I'm sure [the Titans] are thinking about him, they're concerned with him. We want to find a way to get all our guys the ball."

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That sounds heavenly to Maclin as long as it results in a victory.

"As long as we win the football games," he said. "Whatever that entails — if it's us catching the balls, if it's us running the football —  as long as we're winning games."

End zone: Despite the lengthy injury report, linebacker C.J. Mosley said the mini-bye after last Thursday's game was a welcomed respite. "That little break definitely helps," he said. "You can see your family, you can relax. You can get a little extra treatment in, extra lift in. You can do whatever you have to do to get your mind off football for those couple days or any little thing that helps you get your focus back for the next game because in the second half of the season, even though we have this game and a bye, these next eight games are going to be crucial trying to make a playoff push."

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