Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. was simply unstoppable against the Bengals, as has been the case in most of his matchups with Cincinnati.
Coming into this Week 3 AFC North clash, Smith was averaging 17.1 yards per catch in five career games vs Cincinnati. And, he topped 100+ yards in three of them while scoring twice. Sunday's game saw Smith haul in a game-high 13 passes for 186 yards and two scores, both of which came in the fourth quarter.
The Bengals would eventually rally for the win, but Smith had simply owned the Bengals' defensive backs in this one. Whether it was Leon Hall, Dre Kirkpatrick or Adam Jones, he was consistently beating his man for big gains and breaking tackles for more yards.
That's why you can't really blame Smith for talking a little smack during the game, per SB Nation.
We'll opt to let you read some of the more NFSW language he had, but in short, he called Kirkpatrick, Jones, George Iloka, and Reggie Nelson trash... And some other stuff.
Smith alone was willing Baltimore back into this one after falling behind 14-0 early. The Bengals simply had no answers for him as they repeatedly were outmuscled by Smith for balls and then missed tackles on top of it. That was most evident on the play that gave the Ravens their first lead of the game. Smith caught a pass on 4th-and-5 just short of the marker, but fought off Nelson to get the 1st down and then broke an Emmanuel Lamur tackle as he sprinted 50 yards to the end zone to give Baltimore a 17-14 lead.
After the Bengals retook the lead on Andy Dalton's 80-yard bomb to A.J. Green, Smith again would will the Ravens back to the red zone. He caught three passes for 41 yards on the drive, including the go-ahead 16-yard TD to give Baltimore a 21-17 lead.
As good as Smith has been against the Bengals, especially with the Ravens, he still can't claim a win over them since coming to Baltimore. He can keep torching them as long as he wants, but Bengals players and fans will take the win every day.