The second-year receiver hadn’t caught more than three passes in any game during the Ravens’ three-game losing streak, and he hadn’t found the end zone since Week 10.
But that changed in Sunday’s 33-14 win over the Giants, as Smith was quarterback
“He did a great job making some plays down the field and moving those chains for us,” Flacco said.
Smith finished the day with five catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. Flacco threw Smith’s way 11 times, and the two were able to stretch the Giants defense by connecting on some long passes.
Smith’s longest catch of the day came on a 43-yard grab down the sideline where he ran past the defense then tracked down the football to make an impressive grab with cornerback Corey Webster hanging on his back. That score set up a first-half touchdown. Smith also made a one-handed catch down the sideline later in the game to set up a field goal.
“We expect it every time,” Smith said about the Ravens offense, which put up a season-high 533 total yards. “It’s just been a little rocky, hasn’t been as consistent – at least for a whole game – and that’s the way we can play.”
Smith’s performance was a key reason the Ravens offense was able to get back on track. He was able to get open throughout the game and Flacco also showed a willingness to take deep shots his direction.
“We have a bunch of great receivers, and more often than not, we’re coming out with the ball if it’s a one-on-one opportunity and Joe is very aggressive and he likes to take advantage of those opportunities,” Smith said.
Smith had a big day after suffering a concussion last week against the Broncos. He was limited in practice during the week, but was cleared to play over the weekend and wasn’t hindered at all by the injury.
The win over the Giants was a big step for a Ravens team that needed to get back on track heading into the playoffs, and the group now has some momentum heading into the season finale next week against Cincinnati.
“We definitely needed to get a win, and more importantly clinch the division, and I think we’ll be fine,” Smith said. “We need to build on this, which we normally do, and look forward to next week’s practice; Christmas first, and then practice."