Steve Smith Sr. Takes Over, But It's Not Enough


Steve Smith Sr. definitely isn't one to go down without a fight.

So with the Ravens offense trying to claw its way back from multiple deficits Sunday in Oakland, Smith started to take over the game.

Smith caught 10 passes for 150 yards in the Ravens' 37-33 loss. He was targeted a whopping 16 times, more than twice the amount of any of his teammates.

It's the most receiving yards Smith has had in a single game since Oct. 2, 2011, when he had 181 receiving yards against Chicago as a Carolina Panther.

At one point, with the Ravens trailing by three points in the third quarter, quarterback Joe Flacco targeted Smith on three straight plays. On the next series, with Baltimore down by 10 points, Flacco threw Smith's way four straight times, completing three for 32 yards.

Smith was asked whether the Ravens were specifically targeting him.

"I'm not sure. I just run whatever is called and try to make a play," he said.

For the second straight week, however, Smith was the person with a chance to win the game and it didn't work out. Last week in Denver, it was a pass to the end zone that may have been tipped before it hit Smith's hands and fell to the turf.

This week, with the Ravens facing a third-and-8 from the Oakland 13, Flacco lobbed a pass to the corner of the end zone for Smith. Smith had to wait on the ball and flipped his hips to catch it behind him instead of in front of him. The ball was overthrown and with his last-second body adjustment, he couldn't get his second foot down before falling out of bounds.

"He threw it, I caught it and the referee said I was out of bounds," Smith said.

"I let it go and the guy fell down," Flacco added. "I didn't leave too much room. It would have made a little difference at the end. They would have had to score a touchdown to send it into overtime. We would probably still be playing, at the least."

Another receiver, Kamar Aiken, also had an up-and-down day.

On the Ravens' first play from scrimmage, Aiken caught a pass and was stripped as he turned up the field. The Raiders recovered and used the turnover to tack on another field goal and an early 10-0 lead.

Aiken didn't let his fumble drag him down during the game, however. He caught five passes on seven targets for a career-high 89 yards. It was his biggest career game, yet left him shaking his head afterwards.

"I don't remember the big catches. I just remember that one [fumble]," Aiken said. "That one is going to haunt me for a while.

"Steve's going to be Steve every week. That's nothing new. The rest of us just have to do our part."

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