The Ravens receiving corps has been dramatically improved.
But Sunday is a day the group will likely want to forget.
Baltimore had eight drops, according to Pro Football Focus (PFF), against the Cincinnati Bengals, which had they been caught could have changed the 23-16 outcome.
"Games are going to come when you can catch everything," wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. said. "Some games you can't catch a cold buck naked in Alaska – with the flu shot."
The usually sticky-handed Smith had two drops himself, per PFF. One was on a third-down pass that was slightly behind him on the Ravens' first offensive drive. The second came in the third quarter on a deep pass down the middle that would have put Baltimore at about the Bengals 20-yard line.
While quarterback Joe Flacco connected on 35-of-62 passes, he could have had a better completion rate had his receivers caught more passes.
"Honestly, I think it was frustrating if you're Joe Flacco," Smith said. "The receivers, we didn't do anything to help him. We dropped the ball. Collectively, as a receivers group, we have the ability to be a great bunch of guys, but we played terribly."
Wide receiver Jacoby Jones also had a pair of drops. After the game, he told Smith that he had never played that poorly before. Jones also muffed a punt, but fell on top of it.
Tight ends Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels each had a pass bounce off their hands as well. Torrey Smith and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro were credited with the other two drops, according to PFF.
Pitta had 10 catches for 83 yards, but was targeted 15 times. Torrey Smith was targeted seven times and made three receptions for 50 yards. He had a chance at a long reception down the right sideline in the first half, but it bounced off his extended fingertips.
"We just have to make plays. It's really that simple," Torrey Smith said. "There were throws that Joe made that were great; we just have to come up with them."
Head Coach John Harbaugh said the Ravens have to "clean that up" when asked about the drops.
"Our guys have good hands. There's nothing that they're not capable of doing," Harbaugh said.
Smith Sr.* *blamed the high number of drops on first-game jitters.
The Ravens receivers will have to fix it quickly as they have the Steelers coming to M&T Bank Stadium Thursday night.
"It's just going to happen," Smith Sr. said. "How you overcome it is you don't allow today to screw up many more tomorrows. You just go in there and play."