Zay Flowers breaks Torrey Smith's record, becomes best Ravens rookie in 10+ years

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

At this point, there is almost nothing surprising about finding out Zay Flowers put up numbers on a random weekend while cooking defensive backs as a Baltimore Ravens rookie. Even then, the freshman keeps steadily breaking historic marks and making history weekly.

It's clear that Flowers remains a pivotal figure in the Ravens' offensive strategy and that's why he led the pass-catching unit on the Ravens TNF victory over Cincinnati, 34-20.

Flowers recorded 43 yards on three catches getting targeted just four times. A game-changing 64-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass was nullified by a questionable holding penalty on Odell Beckham Jr., which could have turned that already-good performance into an even better one.

Even with the controversial denial (h/t Kevin Oestreicher) of the long-gain catch, Flowers etched his name into Ravens history just 11 games into the season. His 33-yard catch-and-run in the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals set a franchise record for the most receptions by a rookie in a single season.

Flowers has now 51 receptions with more than a handful of games yet to be played, but the rookie surpassed Torrey Smith's debut season record of 50 catches for 841 yards in 2011. Yes, that's 12 years ago!

The rookie has clearly become quarterback Lamar Jackson's go-to target in his first season in Baltimore. Flowers entered Thursday with the most yards, targets, and yardage among pass catchers on the roster, only trailing a few players in the touchdown department.

As we wrap up Week 11 from Baltimore's perspective, Flowers is still leading every other Raven in receptions (53), targets (72), and receiving yards (588) including having the longest gain on a reception (among WRs and TEs) with a 52-yard hauler, and the most yards after catch (259).

Since selecting Torrey Smith in 2011, the Ravens have drafted 15 wide receivers, but only Devin Duvernay (94) and Marquise Brown (195) have surpassed 50 career catches in their Ravens careers. You can add Flowers to that list now, and we're not even close to the end of the season.

Next. Odell Beckham had a career-day when the Ravens needed it. Odell Beckham had a career-day when the Ravens needed it. dark

On another historic note, Lamar Jackson also made history against the Bengals by surpassing Randall Cunningham for the fourth-most rushing yards by a quarterback in NFL history, finishing TNF's matchup with a career total of 4,972 to Cunningham's 4,928.

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