Despite the records, same old Ravens-Steelers
Only 14 seconds remained when Torrey Smith hauled in a 26-yard touchdown pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers last season.
The Ravens pulled out a 23-20 victory on the road for what would become a 12-4 season as they advanced to the AFC title game for the second time in four years.
In a week of reminiscing about memorable plays -- notably Ray Rice’s catch-and-run on 4th and 29 to bring the Ravens to an overtime victory at the San Diego Chargers on Sunday -- Smith’s achievement in his rookie season came up.
“It’s a huge play. It’s something you can definitely look back on, especially that,” said Smith. “I’ll remember it for a long time.
The Steelers (6-5) are at M&T Bank Stadium this Sunday, where the Ravens (9-2) haven’t lost a game since 2010 and a win clinches a playoff berth.
In a 13-10 win at Pittsburgh just two weeks ago, Smith was invisible. He only had 1 catch for 7 yards, his worst game of the season. He rebounded against San Diego, with 7 catches for 144 yards.
The Steelers didn’t do anything special to take him out of the offense with cornerback Ike Taylor, but quarterback Joe Flacco couldn’t connect with Smith.
“I wouldn’t say he was gluing me…He didn’t press. He didn’t do anything, just played off. Their plan worked,” Smith said of Taylor’s coverage and the help he received over the top. “We’ve got to be on the same page a lot more often this time.”
Taylor does his best to get Smith off his game.
“He’s a great player, playing well for a long time and he talks trash. For me, as someone who doesn’t talk, sometimes it gets to you a little bit,” Smith said “He talks. That’s a part of his game. It’s stuff that has nothing to do with playing. Once he realized I don’t talk trash it was pretty cool.”
Given how Smith tends to perform at home, Taylor will need to pull out all the spots. Smith had two touchdown catches in the Ravens’ last home game, a 55-20 win vs. the Oakland Raiders.
He has caught a TD at home in every game except the season-opener.
“The execution has been better. I don’t know why,” Smith said of the Ravens’ offense at home where they've won 14 consecutive regular season games. “I think our fans have something to do with it.”