The Ravens can’t ask Steve Smith to do much more. However, they can certainly ask more from their other wide receivers.
Here are Smith’s stats through three games - 25 catches, 349 yards, and three touchdowns. Only Julio Jones of the Falcons (440 yards) and Antonio Brown of the Steelers (436 yards) have more receiving yards than Smith.
After Smith, the Ravens' next most productive target has been tight end Crockett Gillmore (10 catches, 151 yards, two touchdown).
Now, here are the rest of the Ravens’ wide receivers. None have more than six catches:
- Kamar Aiken – six catches, 88 yards, no touchdowns.
- Marlon Brown – six catches, 66 yards, no touchdowns.
- Michael Campanaro – three catches, 19 yards, no touchdowns
- Darren Waller – zero catches
- Breshad Perriman – hasn’t played.
Smith’s production is more impressive when you consider opponents don’t fear the Ravens’ other wide receivers, yet still can’t contain Smith, regardless of how he is defended. He was the Ravens’ best player Sunday with a spectacular performance – 13 catches, 186 yards, and two touchdowns – despite stomach issues that plagued him throughout the game.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said he believed the Ravens’ other receivers were capable of making plays.
“We’ve just got to give them the ball and give them the opportunities to do it,” Flacco said. “Steve had a lot of opportunities to make plays and he has done that throughout his career. He’s proven that he can make those plays. We need to get some other guys some similar amount of opportunities and see what they can do and get their confidence going and make them believe that they can make those plays down the stretch, because they can.
“The issue is when we have Steve, you can’t not find ways to get him the ball. A lot of the plays in our game plan, you say, ‘OK, let’s make them for Steve, because he’s really good.”’
Smith is really good, even at age 36, in his final NFL season. But this much is clear: If anything happened to Smith, the Ravens (0-3) would be in even more trouble than they are now.