Champ Bailey was burned by Torrey Smith for a second touchdown—this time late in the second quarter.
Smith smoked Bailey in the first quarter on a 59-yard streak down the middle of the field, and he did it again with less than a minute to go in the first half, going up over Bailey on the right sideline to bring down a well-thrown pass from Joe Flacco.
Not only did this play tie the game at 21 apiece right before halftime, but it highlighted Bailey's inability to keep up with Smith.
The Baltimore Ravens stated the obvious on Twitter:
Torrey Smith is officially abusing Champ Bailey right now. 2 catches for 91 yards and 2 TDs.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 12, 2013
ESPN's Andew Brandt seems to suggest Bailey's best days are behind him:
Two hours ago Champ was a great and savvy veteran corner. Then he lined up against Torrey Smith.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) January 12, 2013
Faux John Madden, who is always good for a laugh, put a comedic spin on Bailey's first half:
Torrey Smith taking advantage of new Colorado laws by continually smoking Champ Bailey.— Faux John Madden (@FauxJohnMadden) January 12, 2013
Bailey is now 34 years old, and he has been among the elite of the elite at the cornerback position for well over a decade. There was a time not too long ago that he could have kept up with Smith, but he has clearly lost a step of two in the past couple of seasons.
Perhaps it's time for Bailey to move to safety in 2013.
God knows, he still has the instincts and football IQ to be an effective player, but he can no longer lock down speedsters on the outside like he used to do.
After 14 seasons, though, Bailey may be thinking about retirement.
What do you think? Should Bailey consider retiring, should he move to safety next year, or are we making too much of a big deal out of nothing?
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!