Joe Flacco, Torrey Smith Frustrated After Deep Ball Struggles


The two were unable to connect on a number of deep pass attempts in Sunday's loss.

Wide receiver Torrey Smith was frustrated in the locker room after Sunday's 23-20 loss to the Steelers.

The Ravens had just missed an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot and Smith had been unable to come up with a handful of deep passes thrown his way from quarterback Joe Flacco.

The disappointment showed as Smith talked with the media.

"It's definitely frustrating," Smith said.  "Regardless of how tough it may be, it's my job to make the play, and more often than not I make it, but there were a couple of plays that I left on the field that I'm very upset about."

Smith finished the day with three catches for 33 yards, which came on eight passes thrown his direction. Smith also generated a 30-yard pass interference penalty that set up a field goal in the third quarter. Flacco was 16-of-34 for 188 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

The frustrating part for Flacco and Smith was that they couldn't seem to hit on the long pass attempts.

But it wasn't for a lack of trying.

Flacco took four deep shots at Smith during the game (excluding the pass interference penalty), which all fell incomplete. Overall, Flacoo also had a tough time connecting with any of his receivers on the deep ball. He completed 2-of-10 passes that were thrown at least 15 yards down the field. His average yards per pass downfield was 12.8, the longest average pass length during a single game in his career, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

"I'm going to have to look back at them on field to see what happened," Flacco said when asked what went wrong on the attempts to Smith. "I think we missed a couple of opportunities early in the game, to take a better hold of the game."

Neither player seemed to be in rhythm and they both shared the blame.

Flacco underthrew Smith when he was running free in the secondary on the second play of the game. On another play, Smith appeared to slow down in his route and then wasn't able to track down the football.

The two also missed on a shot to the end zone just before Ray Rice's third-quarter touchdown run. The pass bounced off Smith's hands and television cameras showed Flacco yelling out to Smith when he was still downfield. They caught up with each other after the play to talk about Smith's technique, and Flacco explained that he was urging Smith to meet the ball at its highest point rather than catching with his body.

"He kind of jumped and gave himself a little bit. I told him I wanted him to go up and meet the ball, but that happens sometimes," Flacco said. "We were able to come back and make a play after that."

Smith and Flacco have been in sync for most of the season, as Smith has 732 receiving yards and a team-leading seven touchdowns. The offense as a whole struggled in Sunday's loss to the Steelers, and Flacco and Smith hope to get back on track this week. 

"We've just got to make plays," Smith said. "It's that simple. They didn't do anything special, you've just got to make plays."

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