So far through the first two games of the 2016 season, the Baltimore Ravens have struggled to get the ball into the end zone. In spite of the fact that they are sitting at 2-0 and sitting even with the Pittsburgh Steelers at the top of the AFC North rankings, they have scored just 19 points per game and rank in the bottom third in scoring.
When they have gotten into the end zone, however, it has been courtesy of 2009 third-round Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace, who is in his first season with the Ravens after spending three season prior with Miami and Minnesota.
Baltimore has just three touchdowns this year, and all three of them have been Joe Flacco passes to Wallace. His 66-yard touchdown against the Bills in the season opener was the Ravens’ only touchdown of that game, and he added two more touchdowns receptions, one from seven yards out and the other from 17 yards away, against the Browns a week ago.
His three touchdowns this year is already more than he had last year with the Vikings, and it is the first time that he has scored three or more touchdowns over a two-game span since Weeks 15 and 16 during the 2014 seasons while in his second season with the Dolphins.
Sunday’s game was just the second multiple-touchdown game that he has had in his post-Steelers career, during which he accomplished that feat five times over a four-year span, including twice during the 2010 season, which remains his best year to date.
In spite of the renewed success that he has found in Baltimore in his eighth season at the age of 30—he has seven total receptions for 132 yards, averaging 18.9 yards per reception—Wallace says that he is not making too much of his early season success.
“I’ve seen the highs, and I’ve seen the lows”, he told reporters during the week. “I see how fast things can change on you”, he added. “Just like you guys sitting here talking to me; I don’t buy into any of this”, he said about his early statistical output.
For his part, Flacco has taken a liking to the former Pro Bowler, who has long held an affinity for the deep ball. Six of Flacco’s 12 targets in Wallace’s direction have been of the long-ball variety, at least 15 yards down the field, with two of them being completed for 99 yards.
“I always say when you have good players, it’s easy to make connections like that”, he said of Wallace. “I think Mike has gone out there and he has gotten a handful of opportunities. It has been up to him to win on those”.
Today, he and Wallace will be going up against the Jaguars, who rank eighth in total passing yardage allowed, but they have given up six explosive plays, which ties for 10th, and their three plays allowed of 40 yards or more is tied for the fourth-most in the league.