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Ravens have poor history with No. 3 WRs

5/9/2012

There's something twisted in the fact that the Baltimore Ravens are trying to end their bad run with No. 3 wide receivers with a player who became available, for the most part, because he couldn't hold onto the ball.

Jacoby Jones, who signed a two-year, $7 million contract with Baltimore on Tuesday night, becomes the latest veteran trying to add depth to the Ravens' wide receiver group.

In 2010, T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught 30 passes for the Ravens as the third receiver, which was his lowest catch total since his 2001 rookie year. He ended his disappointing season by dropping a fourth-down pass that sealed Baltimore's 31-24 playoff loss at Pittsburgh.

In 2011, Lee Evans had a career-low four catches as the No. 3 wide receiver in an injury-filled year and finished his painful season by having the winning touchdown pass stripped out of his hands with 22 seconds remaining in the AFC championship game.

Now, the Ravens turn to Jones, whose fumbled punt led to a Baltimore touchdown and caused the Texans to lose in the playoffs. Baltimore can only hope he has better hands in the postseason to avoid its bizarre trend of dropped passes.

Since Joe Flacco entered the NFL in 2008, the Ravens have tried four different receivers for that No. 3 spot (Evans, Houshmandzadeh, Kelley Washington and Demetrius Williams) and none has ever caught more than 34 passes in a season.