The Ravens would head to St. Louis for their game against the Rams hoping to rinse out the bad taste in their mouths after giving up a game against Tennessee a week ago. Joe Flacco would have to improve after throwing 2 interceptions in the previous game, and he’d have to do it without newly acquired receiver Lee Evans. Evans has been dealing with a nagging ankle injury since the beginning of the season. With Evans out, Flacco knew that his young receivers would have to step up.
“They are going to be called on and they are going to have to play,” Flacco told reporters on Wednesday. “They are going to have to go out there and make catches and make plays for our team. We’re going to have to have confidence in it and trust them.”
Turns out Flacco knew exactly what he was talking about as he would hit Torrey Smith three times in the first quarter. All 3 catches were for touchdowns. Torrey Smith became the first rookie receiver since 1991 to have his first three NFL catches go for touchdowns. He would finish the day with 5 catches for 152 yards and 3 touchdowns. Torrey Smith tried his best not to make the feat seem like a big deal.
“I’ve been playing football forever and I’ve been making plays forever,” said Smith. “Having a game like this, it proves to other people that haven’t seen me play; it lets them know I can play.”
Torrey Smith probably isn’t going to see another game like this for a while. The Ravens took advantage of a poor Rams defense. But it not only gives the rookie confidence throughout the rest of the season, it also gives teams another guy to watch out for. This will help keep more defenders away from the box and give Rice some running lanes.
Joe Flacco had time in the pocket, something he didn’t have last week. Part of that may be due to the insertion of Andre Gurode at the LG spot. Mark Levoir was inactive this week after starting last week at left guard. Levoir struggled a bit and many wondered why he started over Gurode against the Titans in the first place. Gurode and company kept Flacco upright for most of the game, which is good considering how poor Flacco performs when being flushed from the pocket.
The Ravens defense returned to its dominant ways with an interception from Webb and a fumble recovery for a touchdown from Haloti Ngata. The team looked like the same one that dismantled the Steelers two weeks ago. Time will tell if this will be the team we see for the rest of the season. If Torrey Smith plays like this all season, the Ravens will be hard to beat.