Ed Dickson and Tandon Doss have gone through their share of struggles this season.
Doss lost a position battle in training camp and was cut before the Ravens eventually re-signed him because of injuries among the receiving corps. Dickson missed the entire preseason with a hamstring injury and then had problems catching the ball once he got back on the field.
Both players dealt with their share of scrutiny from the fans and media. And both players showed up with big performances in Sunday's 26-23 win over the Miami Dolphins. The timing couldn't have been better as the Ravens were limited on targets.
"It's kind of past due, but you build on top of that," Dickson said after the win.
Coming into Sunday's game, Dickson had just one catch and four drops on the season. He caught two passes for 51 yards Sunday, including a 43-yard grab that set up a first-half field goal. Both catches came in tight traffic, as Dickson had to take on hits from defenders to hold onto the ball.
The strong day for Dickson came after he was challenged by Head Coach John Harbaugh earlier in the week. When asked about Dickson during a press conference, Harbaugh said the fourth-year tight end "just needs to go catch the ball," and that "if he's lacking confidence for some reason, that's on him."
Harbaugh praised Dickson for his performance against Miami.
"The guys came through. You'd have to start with Ed Dickson," Harbaugh said. "I'm proud of Ed Dickson."
The Ravens had big expectations for Dickson coming into the season, especially after the hip injury to Dennis Pitta. Dickson, who is in the final year of his contract, has stressed all year that his confidence has not wavered.
"There's nothing that can get my confidence down," Dickson said. "[Offensive Coordinator Jim] Caldwell says it all the time, 'There's no way you can practice that well and not get results in the game.' I'm going to continue to practice well and continue to prepare well, and the best is yet to come."
Doss also stepped up his play, starting his first game at wide receiver because of injuries to Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown. Brandon Stokley was cut by the Ravens Saturday. Doss was one of the team's three active receivers, and hauled in three catches for 53 yards. Doss also had four punt returns for a total of 50 yards.
"You know how long I've been waiting for this so it felt very good," Doss said. "It felt good getting all those reps, getting used to the speed of the game and getting that chemistry with Joe."
Both Dickson and Doss elevated their game at a time when the Ravens needed players to step up on offense. The offense has been searching for playmakers all season, and the two targets came up with key plays in helping the Ravens to a win.
"We're still not where we want to be as an offense," Dickson said. "I just have to keep building."