The Ravens may have saved their season with Thursday night’s 23-20 overtime victory over the Steelers. Here are five Ravens who don’t always make headlines whose contributions should not be overlooked:
WR Kamar Aiken
With the Ravens trailing 20-7 in the third quarter, Aiken ran a beautiful sideline route, and Joe Flacco hit him Aiken with a perfect touchdown pass to change the game’s momentum. This was Aiken’s best game of the season (five catches, 77 yards. He figures to be more important in the near future, with wide receiver Michael Campanaro suffering an injury and being carted to the locker room.
CB Will Davis
Acquired in a trade after Week 2, Davis was excellent in coverage as a nickel corner, even holding his own when matched up with Steelers star wide receiver Antonio Brown. Davis showed he could be an asset at a position where the Ravens could never have too much depth.
OLB Za’Darius Smith
The rookie got his first two career sacks on back-to-back plays, and had the first impact game of his young career. If Smith continues to make his presence felt as a pass rusher, it will have an important impact on the Ravens’ front seven, which has missed the presence of Terrell Suggs (out for season).
ILB Daryl Smith
He is simply one of the NFL’s most underrated players, overshadowed since joining the Ravens by Suggs, C. J. Mosley, and Elvis Dumervil. However, Smith was all over the field Thursday night, the game’s leading tackler with 13, including a sack that pushed the Steelers out of field goal range. Smith never seems to age, and his strong play never seems to fluctuate.
WR Darren Waller
He made his first NFL catch, and it was a big one – a 17-yarder on the game-tying drive in regulation. With Steve Smith out with a back contusion, and Campanaro being carted to the locker room injured, Waller stepped up in a big spot. That is a good sign for a raw 6-foot-6 receiver with potential.
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