Rookie WR Rashod Bateman Has a Breakout Game in Cleveland

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman (12) catches a pass while being covered by Cleveland Browns cornerback Greedy Williams (26) during an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Cleveland.

The Ravens were without Lamar Jackson, but they weren't without playmakers.

Rookie first-round wide receiver Rashod Bateman had his breakout in the second half of Sunday's game, helping the Ravens mount a ferocious rally that came up just short in a 24-22 loss in Cleveland.

Bateman finished with seven catches for 103 yards – the first 100-yard game of his young career – including two huge catches down the stretch.

"I definitely told him I know he will make a play for me," quarterback Tyler Huntley said. "I know all of my receivers will make plays for me when I give them the chance. I just have to give them the chance."

On the first, Bateman slowed down and leapt in front of cornerback Greedy Williams to snag a pass before racing to the goal line. It looked like Bateman dove in for the score but he was ruled just short of the end zone.

The second catch came on fourth-and-6 with the Ravens trailing by nine points with less than two minutes left. Huntley gave the rookie a shot with a deep throw down the left sideline and Bateman made the over-the-shoulder grab with Williams in tight


Bateman also had a 20-yard catch and run at the end of the first half that set up Justin Tucker for a 42-yard field goal. Bateman ran a comeback route on Williams for what would have been just a 5-yard gain but juked and burst up field to pick up another 15.

As the Ravens offense continues to deal with heavy blitzing, it seems Bateman could be the answer as both a deep threat and underneath option who can made defenders miss.

While tight end Mark Andrews still led the team in targets (11) and receiving yards (115), it seems Bateman is poised to do more.

He was coming off his first game without a catch in Pittsburgh last week. Bateman was targeted just once against the Steelers, but tied Marquise "Hollywood" Brown with eight targets in Cleveland.

"I'm just continuing to get more comfortable as we play," Bateman said. "I'm just doing my job, continuing to make plays for the team. Hopefully, I can keep it up."

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