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Late For Work 10/6: Torrey Smith 'Sick' During Trying Times


Torrey Feels 'Sick' During Trying Times

Nobody is blaming Torrey Smith for the Ravens' 20-13 loss in Indianapolis.

You could point to a dozen different plays as reason for the loss prior to his missed catch on fourth-and-3 with 32 seconds left in the game.

But that is of little consolation to Smith, who is understandably upset about his start to the season.

I'm sick right now...never been in this position before...very trying times for me on and off the field but I will be better from this — Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) October 5, 2014

Smith is off to a quiet start this season. He's only caught 11 passes for 176 yards and one touchdown in five games. That means he's on pace for career lows (35 catches, 563 yards, three touchdowns) during a contract season.

On Sunday, he dropped two passes, including the fourth-down pass at the end of the game, according to The Baltimore Sun. However, Pro Football Focus says there was just one drop by Smith. The league does not keep official drop stats.

Regardless, had Smith reeled in the beautiful spiral from quarterback Joe Flacco to extend the drive and give the offense another shot at the end zone, perhaps it would have been the spark he needed. Instead, the ball bounced off his hands, and fell to the turf. And it was the exact coverage the Ravens had hoped for on the play, as Smith drew single coverage on a go route.

By no means was it an easy reception, but it was deemed catchable by Head Coach John Harbaugh and pundits watching from the press box.

"It was catchable," Harbaugh said after the game. "It was a tough catch, it was a challenging play to make, very challenging play to make. Those are not plays you see made every play in the NFL."

"Not a perfect throw, but Torrey Smith must make that catch," added WNST's Luke Jones. "Continues to struggle early in the season."


Offense 'Wastes' Admirable Defensive Effort

Flacco and the offense couldn't capitalize off of four Colts turnovers. Three were caused by the Ravens defense and one was on special teams.

The total points gained off those turnovers? Just three.

"The Ravens wasted an admirable effort by their defense," wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley.

"A week after scoring 38 points, the offense could manage only one touchdown and couldn't cross midfield on the final drive. Pass protection (four sacks), the inability to convert third downs and Torrey Smith's final dropped pass were the Ravens' downfall."

The mistakes amounted to another loss in Indianapolis, where the Ravens have never won and are now 0-6 all-time.             

Looking at the stat line can be misleading when judging the Ravens' defensive outing. The Colts' No. 1-ranked offense churned out 422 total offensive yards, but 129 of those came in the fourth quarter when the defense seemed to run out of steam from being on the field so long.

"None of the Ravens defenders used the excuse of being tired, but everyone in Lucas Oil Stadium saw them putting their hands on their hips in the final minutes of the game," Hensley wrote. "This isn't a criticism of the Ravens' playing shape. It's more of an indictment on the terrible position that the offense continually put the defense in." 

The Ravens offense only converted one of 11 third downs, keeping the defense on the field, along with three total Baltimore turnovers. The time of possession tilted heavily in the Colts' favor as they were on the field for nearly 39 minutes of the 60-minute game.

Stock Falling On Rookie Hurst

Undrafted rookie James Hurst held his own last week in his first NFL start, but he didn't fare as well in front of his hometown crowd in Indianapolis.

Harbaugh still needs to watch the tape, but from his view, Hurst was only beat once and the four sacks on Flacco were a result of the Colts' relentless blitzes.

From pundits' point of view, however, Hurst’s stock is falling as he continues to fill in for injured starter Eugene Monroe at left tackle.

"The undrafted rookie looked like an undrafted rookie starting his second career game," wrote Hensley. "Hurst gave up three sacks after the Ravens had gone three games without allowing one. He was exposed early in the second quarter, when he allowed a sack on fourth-and-1 from the Colts' 3-yard line. Hurst then got beat on an inside move with under two minutes left in the game, which led to another sack." 

"The Ravens will continue to hope that Eugene Monroe makes a speedy recovery," added's Clifton Brown.

According to Flacco, the real issue was his inability to capitalize on the consistent blitzes.

"When they came after us, there was a spot to go with the ball and we weren't quite able to make those plays," he said. "You got to credit those guys for having the confidence to come after it and cover in the back end and do their thing. We wished we could have hurt them a little bit more because they did come after us a little bit and you want to take advantage of that."

Failed Opportunity To Make Statement

With the road being pivotal to the Ravens' demise last year, they had the opportunity Sunday to show they are a real post-season contender in Indianapolis.

"The Ravens were involved in a statement game on Sunday, and they sent the wrong message," wrote The Sun's Mike Preston. "If they wanted to prove they were a contending team after missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2007, they failed. In fact, some of the same things that kept them from the playoffs in 2013 showed up again in a 20-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts before a crowd of 65,258 at Lucas Oil Stadium."

The Ravens still have three of the next four games away from the friendly confines of M&T Bank Stadium to prove they are the road warriors they feel they can be.

And there is still plenty of hope in the division standings …

Ravens Only Half-Game Behind Bengals

Things aren't all gloom and doom in Baltimore this Monday morning.

First off, congratulations to the Orioles for sweeping the Detroit Tigers to win American League Divisional Series.

There's additional good news for the Ravens.

The division-leading Cincinnati Bengals got beat last night by the New England Patriots in front of the nation, 43-17. That means, despite the loss to Indy, the Ravens remain just a half-game back.

Meanwhile the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers both picked up wins. The division couldn't be much tighter.

Here are the AFC North standings through five weeks of the season.

1)      Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)

2)      Baltimore Raves (3-2)

3)      Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2)

4)      Cleveland Browns (2-3)

Webb Dusts Off Spiderman Celebration

In his first extensive game action of the season, cornerback Lardarius Webb successfully knocked off the rust that came* *from sitting since the second day of training camp.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck targeted Webb right away, regularly peppering him with passes that were completed, but Webb didn't allow any big plays or touchdowns.

"Webb appeared to have regained most of his mobility and tackled crisply, but clearly wasn't back to his old shutdown form," wrote The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson.

"I just got to keep knocking off the rust and keep getting better," Webb said after the game.

Not only did Webby knock the rust off his game, but he dusted off his ole' Spiderman celebration after a pass breakup on receiver T.Y. Hilton in the second quarter.


Quick Hits

  • Thanks, Garrett. That's a good excuse to watch these plays again:  



  • Nothing like a little conspiracy theory to start your day… Did the closed roof, and thus increased noise, give the Ravens offense problems? Good thing Brown (rightfully) dismissed the idea in the video below []
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