Entering Sunday’s game at Tennessee, the Ravens are bringing a revamped receiving corps featuring wide receivers John Brown, Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and tight ends Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst. Combined with a backfield featuring Alex Collins and Javorious Allen, and the offense has life it didn’t have in previous seasons.
One of the X-factors has been John Brown. Previously with the Cardinals, Brown’s battle with sickle cell trait limited him on the field and he never fully realized his potential in Arizona despite some flashes.
With a second chance in Baltimore, Brown has realized his potential and has emerged as the top receiver for the Ravens. He’s caught 19 passes for 396 yards, three touchdowns and 20.8 yards per catch.
Brown has established himself as one of the top vertical threats in the active NFL, and that’s something the Titans need to be concerned going into Sunday’s showdown in Nashville.
Against the Steelers, Brown had a season best 116 yards on three catches, adding a touchdown to the mix. As a vertical threat, he’s given the nickname “Smokey Brown” because of his ability to burn defensive backs downfield.
Here, Browns performs a double move on rookie safety Terrell Edmunds then burns him with his speed on a 71-yard pass play. It’s a simple play from the receiver, but one that’s extremely effective due to his technique and quickness.
Against the Bengals, Brown had two sensational catches that showcased who he is as a receiver. Joe Flacco throws this one into triple coverage and it should be picked off, but it goes through the hands of the defensive back and into Brown’s.
This is a special play from Brown because it highlights both his timing and concentration and his ability on contested catches. It’s safe to say he was flawless at the catch point and shifted momentum for a while in Baltimore’s favor.
Here, Brown again performs a double move, but this time the coverage is far better. Flacco still gives his receiver a chance to make a play on it, and with hands in his grill, Brown is still able to haul this one in. That he’s able to concentrate and haul this one in while keeping two feet in bounds is sensational. Brown went off in this game and in general has done that for the Ravens.
John Brown’s route running, excellence in tight coverage, and speed have made him a tremendous downfield receiver in Baltimore. He presents a tough matchup for the Titans in the slot and as a wideout, so it’s on guys like Malcolm Butler and Adoree Jackson to shut him and the Ravens’ receiving corps down.