This success changed in the postseason. In the AFC Championship Game, the Patriots' Aaron Hernandez caught nine passes for 83 yards. In the Super Bowl, the San Francisco 49ers' Vernon Davis had six catches for 104 yards.
San Francisco used Davis to attack Ray Lewis in coverage. But Lewis wasn't on the field in Thursday's season opener, when Thomas produced 110 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions. One of Thomas' big plays was the result of a missed tackle by safety Michael Huff, and another can be blamed on linebacker Daryl Smith, who bit on a run fake and let the tight end run free in the middle of the field.
"On almost every ball that the tight end caught, he was in man coverage," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said of Thomas' big game. "So, that’s not a spot between the zones. That’s somebody playing technique man-to-man on the tight end, and that guy has got to play better technique, or we’ve got to coach better technique.”
Cameron was a non-factor against the Ravens last season. In two games, he was targeted eight times by quarterback Brandon Weeden and caught one pass for 15 yards. But the Ravens figure he's going to be a a bigger part of the game plan Sunday.
“[It’s a] copycat league. Everybody copies whoever they played the week before," Pees said. "So, you better be prepared for any mistake that you made on any formation [or] any particular play the week before. You better have corrected it, because they’ll find out if you have.”