The day after Mark Andrews had a subpar game against the Seattle Seahawks, he was smiling and looked at ease, happy that his drops didn't cost the Ravens a victory. Andrews is a team guy not a "me" guy, and Baltimore's 30-16 victory was the team's most impressive performance of the season.
Dwelling on his three drops during Sunday's game wasn't going to spoil Andrews' mood because the Ravens won. Teammates and coaches love Andrews – a baller who values wins over statistics. Even when he doesn't catch it, Andrews gets it.
"Obviously, great team win," Andrews said. "Super happy about that and being 5-2. At the end of the day, there's nothing that could replace that feeling.
"Obviously, didn't play great myself. I've got to be better, I will be better. Everyone has bad games. I'm looking forward to getting back out there and showing my true colors. I think everybody knows that last game wasn't my true colors."
Andrews could've had a big day against Seattle, because, as usual, he was getting open. But atypically, he was not sure-handed, catching just two of eight targets for 39 yards. He was credited with three drops.
His first drop was not an easy play. Trying to fit a pass around a defender, Lamar Jackson tossed a low throw around Andrews' ankles that he juggled momentarily before losing control. Andrews bounced back in the second quarter, reaching to haul in a 33-yard completion that set up a Justin Tucker field goal.
However, things got worse for Andrews in the second half. Late in the third quarter, Andrews momentarily controlled what would've been a leaping 16-yard touchdown catch, but he couldn't secure it before Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright reached in to knock the ball away.
Two plays later, Jackson went right back to Andrews and he flat-out dropped a pass over the middle. Then in the fourth quarter, Andrews dropped a pass over the middle that may have been his easiest attempt of the day.
It was a rainy day in Seattle and the ball was slick, but Andrews makes no excuses.
"I've played in plenty of rainy games, and honestly, I think I've kind of played better in rainy games," Andrew said. "I don't know if that was a factor. It was just an off game. I felt like I got open, I had my chances, things were there, it just didn't work out. That's when you've got to look at yourself, look in the mirror, and tell yourself you've got to get better. It's no one else's fault but mine for not catching those balls, making those easy plays. Nothing else needs to be said."
Andrews remains one of the NFL's most productive tight ends with 36 catches for 449 yards and three touchdowns. Head Coach John Harbaugh is not worried about Andrews having a lingering issue.
"Mark has been clutch for us, and it was just, I'd say, a very rare, off-game for him," Harbaugh said. "He had the really good catch early, so we appreciate that. He worked hard and fought and competed, so we expect him to be back to form."
Andrews feels the same way. He's not worried about drops becoming a problem.
"My bread and butter is catching the football," Andrew said. "There's nothing to stress out about for me. I know what I'm good at, and I'm going to do it."
Andrews plans to spend the break with family in his native Arizona where he just became a first-time homeowner. The season has taken a toll on his body as a physical player who dishes out punishment and receives it. However, Andrews said he feels better than he did a month ago and plans to return from the bye rejuvenated.
"I've kind of turned the corner with my health, getting over the hump," Andrews said. "I'm ready to play this last half of the year, hopefully make the playoffs and do some damage. We're still waiting for that game as an offense when we're clicking on all cylinders, efficient, playing Ravens football. I think we're only going to get better and the best is yet to come."
Andrews definitely doesn't expect a repeat of Sunday. He trusts his hands and ability, and he plans to shake off Sunday the way he sheds tacklers after making a catch.
"Everyone's human," Andrews said. "I'm looking forward to working harder, getting better in practice, showing it in two weeks against the Patriots. It's going to be a big game."