When the Baltimore Ravens signed Jeremy Maclin in June, there were hopes that he would become the team’s No. 1 receiver.
Now, with three games remaining in the regular season, Maclin has been one of the Ravens’ biggest disappointments. Maclin has 39 catches for 418 yards and three touchdowns, putting him on pace for career low in receiving yards and yards per catch (10.7).
His lack of chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco was evident in Sunday's 39-38 loss in Pittsburgh, where Maclin was targeted a season-high 11 times with little results. He managed three caches for 27 yards, and he failed to deliver on a couple of passes in the fourth quarter.
Flacco, however, shot down the notion that there is something missing on the field between him and Maclin. "There are definitely some things we can work on, but I wouldn’t overreact to it,” he said.
Maclin’s struggles are surprising considering his debut. In the season opener, Maclin turned a short pass into a 48-yard touchdown in Cincinnati.
But, over the past three games, Flacco and Maclin have connected on eight passes for 74 yards and no touchdown despite 24 targeted throws. That's the worst receptions-per-target percentage (33.3 percent) in the NFL over that span.
Asked if something stands out on why Flacco and Maclin look out of sync, head coach John Harbaugh said, "No, not really."
On the final two drives in Pittsburgh, Maclin was targeted four times without a completion. The last pass was a well-thrown 27-yard pass that was caught by Maclin at the 34-yard line, which would've put Justin Tucker in position for the winning field goal. But Maclin had stepped out of bounds beforehand, then couldn't get both feet inbounds after the reception.
"For whatever reason, especially last game, it just didn’t click," Maclin said. "I’m not going to beat myself up about it. That’s what preparation is for all throughout the week. We’ll continue to go out there and get on the same page."
The Ravens jumped on the opportunity to add Maclin in June after he was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs. Baltimore signed Maclin to a two-year, $11 million contract that included $6 million guaranteed.
Maclin’s ineffectiveness has now cast some doubt about his future. He is scheduled to make $4 million in 2018, and Baltimore can create $5 million in cap room by cutting him.
"It is what it is,” Maclin said when asked about his frustration level. "I think at this point the one thing you worry about is trying to help your team win games. I had some opportunities to make some plays late in that game [Sunday]. I just came up short. That’s the thing I’m more worried about. Luckily for us, we’re right where we need to be. We’re all right."