Its not just any casual Thursday here at By the Numbers, its Torrey Smith Day! Eat, drink and be merry and when you are done the bullet points will be here for you.
- There were a lot of complaints last year that the Ravens needed a receiver who could stretch the field. Most people thought that the signing of Lee Evans had addressed this concern. Turns out those people (including yours truly) were wrong. While Smith is far from a polished receiver but he appears to have elite burst and straight line speed. Still, its not time to throw Lee Evans to the wolves. Historically ~90% of rookie WRs struggle once defenses start to game plan for them. The Ravens need Evans on the field to keep deep safeties from keying on Smith. (Courtesy of Mike Salfino’s Scouting Notebook)
- As a team, in the first half the Rams had 17 receiving yards. Torrey Smith had more yards than that on each of his three first-quarter touchdowns. (Courtesy of Football Outsiders)
- The Ravens appear to be only interested in using Smith on deep out route or quick screens. Smith was targeted 3 times within 4 yards of the line of scrimmage. Those plays resulted in a total of 19 yards meaning Smith averaged more than 5 yards after the catch on each screen. On the remaining five targets the average target distance was 34 yards. He caught three of these passes, all TDs. (Courtesy Football Outsiders)
- The Ravens passed 2.5x more than they rushed the ball (52/20) and a lot of the attempts came once they were already up by 21 pts. It seemed as if Bill Belichick had taken over the play sheet for Jim Harbaugh and Ken Cameron.
- Joe Flacco finished as the #1 rated QB for the week according to Football Outsiders. The offensive line deserves a large amount of the credit for his success. He was only sacked twice all day and at one point attempted 47 passes in a row without being sacked. Both sacks actually came in the 4th quarter which begs the question: What the heck was Flacco still doing in the game?!?! (Courtesy of Football Outsiders)
- As discussed last week the Ravens began to throw more to Ray Rice in the backfield. Rice’s average reception came behind the line of scrimmage, but he averaged more than 20 yards after the catch on them. However, it was a boom or bust day on the ground. His eight carries included just one first down, a 53-yard gain. He gained only 26 yards on his other seven carries. (Courtesy of Football Outsiders)