The Baltimore Ravens were Anquan Boldin‘s team (offensively, anyway) for quite some time. Then Torrey Smith burst onto the scene and hasn’t stopped gaining traction since. Now Baltimore actually has a superb passing offense with quarterback Joe Flacco, his two stud receivers, a quality third option in Jacoby Jones, two solid tight ends in Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson and an All-Pro running back in Ray Rice, who catches passes out of the backfield like Marshall Faulk. However, Smith is the key to the entire operation.
Smith wasn’t the one who caught the bomb from Flacco to send the Ravens’ divisional playoff game against the Denver Broncos into overtime. Boldin wasn’t the one who hauled in that prayer, either. It was Jones.
So why isn’t Jones the X-factor for the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots?
Jones doesn’t garner a ton of attention. He’s the No. 3 option, so opposing defenses don’t pay him a lot of attention. However, they do pay attention to Boldin…if they don’t pay attention to Smith.
Boldin is having the best playoff run of his career this season, hauling in pass after pass and making incredible catches that are worthy of more than just a highlight reel. He’s been the definition of a stud through these playoffs, but it’s because of his teammate.
Smith is one of the top deep threats in the league and teams are starting to recognize that, which is why Boldin has been having so much success lately. Bill Belichick is a smart coach, but with Boldin garnering so much attention, he’ll have to steer his defense that direction, which means Smith may be the primary guy on Sunday instead of just the decoy.