But everything after the catch was far from routine.
The Ravens tight end headed toward the sideline, broke one tackle and cut upfield to stay inbounds. He then spun inside to avoid another tackle and took off toward the end zone as he slipped past a final defender.
By the time the play was over, Pitta had a 61-yard touchdown, the Ravens’ longest play of the season and the highlight of an otherwise disappointing game.
“In that situation, it’s always tough,” Pitta said. “That’s the thing about this team, we just keep battling. It wasn’t looking good, obviously, at that point in the ballgame. There’s no quit in this team. We’re not going to stop playing.”
There wasn’t much to cheer in the Ravens’ 34-17 loss to the Broncos on Sunday, but the bright spot was Pitta’s performance.
The fourth-year tight end set a career high with 125 receiving yards, as he hauled in seven passes and two touchdowns. He now has seven touchdown grabs on the season, tying him with Todd Heap for the franchise record for a tight end.
“It obviously feels good to be able to contribute in that way, but it’s unfortunate because we’re frustrated and disappointed with the way we played collectively,” Pitta said. “Not a whole lot to be excited about individually. It’s a team game so we just have to prepare well this week.”
Pitta’s other touchdown came in the third quarter on a 31-yard catch over the middle of the field. Pitta dove and extended to catch a pass from quarterback
While Pitta had an impressive final stat line, he wasn’t interested in celebrating his performance after a game that put the Ravens on three-game losing streak with two weeks left in the regular season.
“There were plenty of plays out there that I would like to have back in that game,” Pitta said. “Statistically it was a big game, but it’s just disappointing with the way we collectively played, myself included, so I think we just got to get a little bit better this week."