Week Seventeen Analysis:
The Ravens' playoff hopes aren't dead, but they need lots of help to earn a chance to defend their Super Bowl title. They'll also need Torrey Smith to step up on the road against the Bengals, who will be without starting cornerback Terence Newman. Smith caught a touchdown in their first meeting, and he is top-five in catches of 20-plus yards, so start him and hope for fireworks against a depleted secondary.
Week Sixteen Analysis:
The Patriots have been getting punished by wide receivers lately, and that means Torrey Smith will be waiting with open arms for them in Baltimore this Sunday … actually, open hands would be better. Anyways, New England has allowed 213 yards per game to opposing wideouts over the last three weeks, and No. 1 receivers Mike Wallace, Josh Gordon, and Andre Johnson have gone off in those three games. Smith laid the smack down on the Patriots last season with six catches, 127 yards, and two touchdowns. He's posted dud games the last two weeks in easier matchups, so Smith there's a wide variety of possible outcomes here.
Week Fifteen Analysis:
Torrey Smith tanked in the snow last week, but that won't be an issue on Sunday, as the Ravens will play indoors against the Lions. Detroit has been woeful in defending the pass, having allowed the most touchdowns to receivers this season, and over the past five weeks. The return of tight end Dennis Pitta gives the thin Lions secondary another player to worry about, which might help Smith. He has also racked up receiving yards at a torrid pace on the road this season, averaging 92 per game as opposed to just 59 when playing in Baltimore.
Week Fourteen Analysis:
Torrey Smith should be set to torment a Vikings secondary that's surrendered more than 200 yards and a touchdown per game to opposing wide receivers over the last five weeks. As for Smith, he has topped 74 yards and/or scored a touchdown in each of the last five games. And he is one of 11 receivers with at least 15 red zone targets on the season. There's not much more to say other than this is an ideal matchup for one of the game's most dangerous deep ball threats against a team that allows well over three passing plays of 20-plus yards per game.
Week Thirteen Analysis:
Torrey Smith has now topped 74 yards or scored a touchdown in four straight games, and his matchup at home with the Steelers this week is suddenly very favorable. Pittsburgh has surrendered more than 180 yards and a touchdown per game to receivers in their last five games, and the big box scores have primarily gone to opposing No. 1's. Smith has fallen victim to playing in severe winds the past few weeks, but Baltimore's forecast for Thursday night is looking good. He has also garnered nearly 50% of the Ravens' red zone targets in the last four games, which is the third-highest ratio among receivers during that span.
Week Twelve Analysis:
Torrey Smith fought tornado-ish conditions and that god-awful turf at Soldier Field last Sunday to score a touchdown for the second straight week. He should find conditions more favorable this week at home against the Jets, who rank 29th in pass coverage per Pro Football Focus and have surrendered the fifth-most touchdowns to receivers this season (12). New York can stuff the run but is very susceptible to the pass, and they've also allowed 33 points per game on the road this year. Smith's 58 target percentage in the red zone over the last three games is insanely high. And on the season, his 16 catches of 20-plus yards are second most among receivers. Just be sure to monitor his minor concussion situation.
Week Eleven Analysis:
Torrey Smith has scored and/or topped 77 yards in seven of nine games this season, and he is the only receiver with 40-plus receptions that is also averaging more than 18 yards per catch. Smith and the Ravens hit the road to take on the Bears, who were just forced to put Peanut Tillman on IR with a triceps injury. It's not like Chicago's secondary was very stout to begin with. They've allowed five touchdowns to receivers in their last four games. Baltimore has one of the worst run games in the league, so look for Smith to be heavily involved, even if Tim Jennings is draped on him for the duration of the game.
Week Ten Analysis:
Torrey Smith was able to shed the Iron Haden again last week and should find his route running smoother this Sunday against Cincinnati. Shutdown corner Leon Hall is on IR, and the Bengals' starting cornerback duo of Pacman Jones and Terence Newman have allowed the fifth and seventh-most yards at the position per Pro Football Focus. And the loss of Geno Atkins up front will surely buy time for Joe Flacco. Smith is a burner who can outrun almost any coverage, as evidenced by his league-lead catches over 20 and 40 yards per game..
Week Nine Analysis:
We have another Iron Haden alert! This time Torrey Smith is in the crosshairs, and he will have his work cut out for him. Smith has tangled with Haden already this season, and he actually produced the best box score against Haden: seven catches and 85 yards. But outside of that game, No. 1 receivers are averaging three receptions and 29 yards against Haden and the Browns. Still, Smith is a tough bench. He's proven he can produce against Cleveland, and he also totaled 10 receptions, 143 yards, and two touchdowns against them last year.
Week Seven Analysis:
Aside from last week, Torrey Smith has been terrific. He has the third-most yards among receivers and 14 catches of 20-plus yards – tops in the NFL. That being said, he is in Pittsburgh this week to face the Steelers, a team that he totaled just four catches and 40 yards against in two games last year. It's obviously not an ideal matchup for Smith, but he's tough to sit when averaging over 20 yards per catch this season – that's an amazing stat for someone with 28 receptions. Be warned though, the Steelers shut down A.J. Green and Brandon Marshall already this year, holding them under a combined 100 receiving yards with no touchdowns.
Week Six Analysis:
Green Bay got a pass when Calvin Johnson was deactivated during pregame warm-ups, but in their two games prior, the Packers allowed over 200 yards and two touchdowns per game to receivers. That's great news for Torrey Smith, who is now the NFL's second-leading receiver at 556 yards and now has 10 catches of 20-plus yards in the last three weeks. Only one other receiver has more than 10 all season! The Packers are now without their leader on defense, linebacker Clay Mathews, and currently rank 26th in pass coverage, according to Pro Football Focus.
Week Five Analysis:
Last week, Torrey Smith totaled a career-high 166 receiving yards, scored his first touchdown, and now tops all receivers with an average of over 20 yards per catch. The Dolphins are undoubtedly licking their wounds after getting spanked by the Saints, but they are still the only team to hold receivers without a touchdown. Miami's top cornerback, Brent Grimes, is ranked fifth in coverage hasn't allowed a touchdown, according to Pro Football Focus. Torrey is tough to sit against anyone as he's now second in receiving yards and has been targeted 25% of the time by Joe Flacco, who has the fifth-most pass attempts in the league with 169.
Week Four Analysis:
Buffalo basically hit rock bottom last week when they let Geno Smith rip them for 331 passing yards and two touchdowns. The Bills have now given up the fifth-most yards and are tied for most touchdowns to wide receivers this season. That bodes well for Torrey Smith and the visiting Baltimore Ravens, who will face a secondary that stinks more than the folds between of Michael Moore's back fat. Buffalo's top cornerback, Stephen Gilmore, remains on the PUP list, and Leodis McKelvin left last week's game with a hamstring injury. If he were to sit, then Smith should draw Justin Rogers, who according to Pro Football Focus has already allowed 366 receiving yards and three touchdowns in coverage!
WHAT WE SAID ABOUT SMITH:
Here's a play that wasn't as promising a couple weeks ago. Elvis Dumervil was already long gone, but with Von Miller now suspended and Champ Bailey hampered by his left foot, the Broncos defense isn't nearly as intimidating. Torrey Smith is no stranger to Mile High either. In last year's divisional round he caught 3 passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns. He's in that often magical third year for receivers, and will draw more of Joe Flacco's attention with Anquan Boldin 3,000 miles away and Dennis Pitta on injured reserve. Denver did bring in the dynamic Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to start opposite Bailey at cornerback, but he brings some baggage. DRC was the second-most penalized corner last year and also allowed five touchdowns and missed 11 tackles last year. As the clear-cut receiving threat, Torrey has the tools and superior speed to exploit those weaknesses.
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