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After the Anquan Boldin trade, experts were wondering whether Torrey Smith would be able to handle the extra attention opposing defenses would give him.
It’s not exactly new for Smith. More often than not, he was matched up with the defense’s best cornerback last season and his blazing speed meant that there was usually safety help for his deep routes.
The change for Smith is that he’ll get to run his full route tree, which is much more sophisticated than what was on display last year. He’ll be involved a lot more in the short passing game on underneath crossing routes and quick slants (like the one he took to the house in the preseason).
No Boldin and no Pitta means that Smith is the unquestioned No. 1 option for Joe Flacco. The increase in targets means he should finally break the 1,000-yard plateau and he’ll do so on a higher number of receptions than we’re used to seeing from him.
Rice will once again be the focal point of the offense. The offensive line has some continuity and should be a unit that can create running lanes for him and Bernard Pierce.
The breakout of Pierce toward the end of last year means that Rice’s workload will decrease a little bit, but he’ll still be the workhorse back. Furthermore, the Ravens will probably lean on the ground game more than they did last year because the receiving weapons just aren't there.
Additionally, Rice will definitely be more involved in the passing game because he's one of the best receivers on the roster.
His rushing numbers may take a slight hit, but Rice will still be the most dangerous weapon on the offense.
WINNER: RAY RICE