Can Torrey Smith Get Going Sunday, and Where are the Sacks?
By Brett Foote
Sep 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to Lunchtime Links, where we round up all the latest Ravens news from around the web for your convenient consumption. Today we wonder whether Torrey Smith can get going this Sunday, try to figure out where the sacks are, and ponder whether or not the weaknesses of the team are making the Ravens mediocre.
Can Torrey Smith get going against Bucs?
The struggles of Torrey Smith this season have been well documented, and even recognized by Torrey himself. But the Ravens, and John Harbaugh in particular, remain dedicated to the notion that they are going to get him going.
“[There is] no harsher critic of Torrey [Smith] than Torrey, and that’s maybe too much,” Harbaugh said. “He’s very conscientious, very hard worker, really wants to do well. And we need him to do well, and we want him to do well, too. So it is a focus to get Torrey going, and we’re going to be working to do that.”
Smith has had a rough start to the season for a number of reasons, and he just seems like a poor fit for Gary Kubiaks offense, which so far hasn’t taken advantage of Smith’s speed or deep threat ability. Focusing on short to intermediate routes has helped make Joe Flacco a more accurate quarterback, but it’s done nothing to make us think that Smith will be back in a Raven’s uniform next season.
Ravens weaknesses making them mediocre?
The Ravens looked like a team destined to compete following a fantastic performance against the Panthers in week five, but quickly crashed to earth as the offense couldn’t get going against the Colts in week six. Andrea Hangst at Bleacher Report thinks that the team’s weaknesses are beginning to make them merely a mediocre team.
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Lack of experienced depth on the offensive line has certainly haunted them as Joe Flacco absorbed four sacks last week, and the lack of depth at corner has exposed them to good quarterbacks like Andrew Luck. But outside of that, this is a pretty talented roster. Hangst is right to point out the odd obsession Kubiak has with his committment to the passing game at times, however.
Where are the sacks?
Perhaps the other big problem the Ravens have faced is not really a lack of pass rush this season, but a lack of actual sacks. It’s not as if they haven’t been getting to the quarterback, but they haven’t been finishing the job once they do. The Ravens are currently tied for 26th in the NFL with five sacks through five games.
3.5 of those have come from Elvis Dumervil alone. Dumervil and Suggs have made a living on posting big sack numbers, but both are on the wrong side of 30 at this point. Pernell McPhee has been the only other defensive player who has posted a full sack, and has been getting consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. You would think that the numbers would have to improve, but that remains to be seen at this point.