It certainly wasn’t the greatest of team debuts, but by the way people were bashing Dallas Clark on Twitter last night, you’d swear the guy played the worst game in NFL history.
If you just look at his numbers, seven catches for 87 yards, it seems his debut went well. However, the veteran tight end’s stat line doesn’t tell the whole story. The numbers won’t tell you about his dropped touchdown pass or his fumble that was overridden by a penalty. But in total, Clark was targeted 12 times by Joe Flacco (a team-high), which has to be somewhat encouraging for Baltimore Ravens‘ fans. It means that Flacco sees something he likes in the TE.
In contrast, Flacco only targeted starting TE Ed Dickson five times. Dickson is known for having stone hands and that was definitely the case on Thursday night. So overall, fans were very disappointed in the Ravens’ TE position. That’s fair. At the same time, it’s way too early to give up on both guys, especially Clark.
You can make jokes that he’s 87-years old and that he’s over the hill, but the reality is that the Ravens need him, badly. It’s clear their entire receiving corps is reeling after the loss of Anquan Boldin in the offseason and potentially from Jacoby Jones‘ knee injury. They need all the help they can get. So this notion that the team should cut Clark and Dickson, is completely ridiculous. We’re one game into the season, both guys deserve time to prove themselves. Furthermore, who else could the Ravens sign off the street that would make them better at TE?
Dallas Clark had trouble holding onto the ball Thursday night. That’s a very fixable problem. There’s no reason to write him off after one game, which was also his first with a new team. I know it’s a ‘what have you done for me lately’ culture these days, but fans need to show a little more patience with 15 games left to go.