Smith Ties Rookie TD Record

Wide receiver Torrey Smith caught his sixth touchdown of the season in Sunday’s victory.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Sunday, December 11th, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Categories: 2011 Season Gameday, Garrett Downing, Week 14 vs Colts

When the Baltimore Ravens drafted Torrey Smith in the second round, they knew they were getting a bona fide deep threat that the offense had long desired.

Turns out, they got much more than that.

Smith has grown into versatile wide receiver, and he put his range of skills on display in Sunday’s 24-10 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

“He’s been becoming a complete receiver all year, and he’s continuing to grow every week,” quarterback Joe Flacco said. “He’s running all the routes out there and I’m confident in everything he does.”

T. Smith Excited About Wins, Not Rookie Record

Smith caught passes across the middle, in the corner of the end zone, on out routes and on a screen play. He even ran the ball for 16 yards on an end-around play.

And of course, the Ravens took a deep shot with Smith down the sidelines.

He was targeted a team-high nine times and came down with five catches for 48 yards and a touchdown.

“Every route is an important route,” Smith said. “It’s just part of being a receiver.”

Smith’s touchdown came on the Ravens opening possession, on an eight-yard pass in the corner of the end zone. The touchdown gave Baltimore a 7-0 lead, and was Smith’s sixth score of the season, tying him with running back Jamal Lewis for the most touchdowns by a rookie in franchise history.

“I mean, it’s pretty cool,” Smith said about the record. “But the thing that stands out to me more than anything is being 10-3 and being part of a winning team.”

Smith nearly broke the rookie touchdown record later in the game on a play in the third quarter. But tight end Dennis Pitta snagged the ball in the end zone, which either player likely could have caught.

On the play, Flacco rolled out and then threw back across the field to the middle of the end zone, where tight end Dennis Pitta and Smith were both open. Pitta snatched the pass – which Flacco said was intended for Pitta – right in front of Smith.

“Man, that would have been bad,” Smith said when asked about whether he tried to make a play on the ball. “We would have run into each other, and the ball would have dropped in the end zone. But he caught the touchdown pass and that’s all that matters.”

As Smith has developed additional elements of his game, he hasn’t lost his ability to beat the defense deep. The Ravens took one deep shot down the sidelines near the end of the first half, and Smith nearly came up with a remarkable one-handed grab.

When Flacco threw the pass up to Smith, he was running even with defensive back Jacob Lacey. But then Smith blew past him, and got one hand on the football, despite contact from Lacey.

Even though he didn’t haul in the catch, the play was a reminder of the threat Smith poses for opposing defenses. He has changed what the Ravens are able to do offensively, and at a time when some rookies start to see their production decline, Smith appears to be getting stronger and is showing no signs of letting up.

Or slowing down.

“They talk about a rookie wall,” Smith said, “but when you’re focused on trying to be great as a team, you have no time for that wall to come up on you.”

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