Ravens young WRs shined in Week 16 blowout loss

Ravens, James Proche Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, James Proche Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /

There weren’t many positive takeaways from the Baltimore Ravens‘ Week 16 blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The offense had its issues with Lamar Jackson and Tyler Huntley sidelined while the injury-riddled defense was a trainwreck.

But in what was a difficult afternoon for the Ravens, the team at least saw some promising performances from a number of young wide receivers on the roster.

Tight end Mark Andrews once again stole the show on offense, but he wasn’t the only player to make a positive impact on the passing game. The likes of James Proche, Rashod Bateman, and even Tylan Wallace had their moments.

Those performances provided some optimism in what was an otherwise forgettable game for Baltimore.

James Proche and other Ravens wide receivers shined on Sunday

Proche took advantage of a larger role with Sammy Watkins on a limited snap count pacing all Ravens wide receivers with seven catches for 76 yards. He did an excellent job of finding holes in the defense and put together what was a career-best performance.

Ask anyone on the Ravens’ roster or coaching staff and you’d be hard-pressed to find a player who has worked harder to improve than Proche. Seen as a roster-bubble player entering the summer, Proche shined in training camp and forced his way onto the roster.

More performances like this one will go a long way toward Proche continuing to establish a role in the offense.

Another player who continues to make the most of his targets is first-round rookie Rashod Bateman. Bateman hauled in four catches for 26 yards and a touchdown (the first of his NFL career) on the team’s first drive.

It looked to be the start of a big day for the rookie wideout, but he was targeted just once in the remainder of the game. The Ravens still struggle to get Bateman involved, but when he is targeted, he finds ways to make plays.

Even fellow rookie Tylan Wallace managed to make an impact taking a 3rd-and-13 slant 18 yards for an improbable first down. Wallace broke multiple tackles, fighting for extra yards and moving the chains.

It was only the second catch of Wallace’s career and easily the highlight of his rookie season to this point.

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Sunday’s game was a difficult one for both fans and the team alike. But the Ravens can take some solace in knowing that they have an excellent core of young wide receivers waiting in the wings.