Ravens’ best player lets them down as Baltimore falls to 0-3


Sep 27, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) runs away from Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (22) for a touchdown during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Cincinnati Bengals defeated Baltimore Ravens 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

As bad as things had been for the Baltimore Ravens through the first two weeks of their 2015 season, at least they could count on their best players, right?  Steve Smith has been playing out of his mind, even with nothing else working on offense.  And Jimmy Smith was also having (notice the past tense) a successful return from 2014’s Lisfranc injury.

But after Smith shut down beastly Broncos receivers Deymarius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in week 1, he had a very mediocre day against the Raiders’ passing attack in week 2.  In that game, Smith gave up 89 yards and a touchdown, the bulk of that production coming from a long Amari Cooper catch and run.

Then, Jimmy Smith completely imploded against A.J. Green and the Cincinnati Bengals in week 3.  In a game that absolutely deserved the title of “must win,” the Ravens’ best player simply couldn’t stop the Bengals’ best player.

Green blew up in week 3 in enemy territory, racking up 10 catches on 13 targets for a ridiculous 227 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Smith was absolutely taken to the wood shed on an 80 yard touchdown pass that ultimately sealed the Ravens’ fate in a competitive ball game.  Two weeks, two big plays allowed. That’s not what elite cornerbacks do.

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The drubbing even prompted John Harbaugh to declare in his post game conference that the Ravens would one day need to figure out how to stop Green, hopefully before he retires.  It was a sarcastically hilarious but also sad and realistic comment.

We have often talked up Jimmy Smith as one of the NFL’s best corners over the last year or two, but the NFL’s best corners don’t give up 227 yards to anybody.  So perhaps it’s time to stop preparing the young cornerback a gold jacket and start hoping that he can simply live up to his massive new contract instead.

Next: Ravens need Breshad Perriman to return now

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