Baltimore Ravens' Greatest Running Back: Ray Rice Or Jamal Lewis?

By Dan Abeshouse
Ray Rice
Ron Chenoy-USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice should break Jamal Lewis‘ franchise record this year for most all-purpose yards from scrimmage, assuming he stays healthy of course. Rice is currently at 8,233 all-purpose yards and needs only 934 more to break Lewis’ record of 9,166.

Rice still needs around 2,300 rushing yards to break Jamal’s all time rushing yards, which is probably a realistic expectation for the 2014 season. With Rice on the verge of breaking these all-time great’s franchise records, the question remains: Who is the better back of the two?

Rice is no doubt the more versatile back and definitely more exciting to watch. He is a really shifty runner with explosive speed and very underrated toughness, and is huge asset catching passes out of the back field.

Jamal was definitely a little more one-dimensional, but that one dimension was dominant. Lewis was a bigger back that’s definitely more of the bruising bulldozer type running back, kind of like Jerome Bettis. These days, people would call a back like Lewis a throwback.

On paper, Rice is the easy answer for this question, but I still have to rate Lewis over Rice.

Yes, Rice is the more explosive and better playmaker, but he’s never dominated the way that Jamal used to. Jamal would just pound opposing defenses in to submission slowly and painfully. Rice, on the other hand, can knock you out on one hay maker — just ask the New England Patriots about the 2009 Wild Card game. Still though, Rice doesn’t strike the same amount of fear in to defenses’ hearts like Lewis could.

This is a discussion that could go either way and after Rice breaks the records of Lewis, then I probably will change my tune on this topic, but as far as right now, Lewis is still the greatest Ravens running back in franchise history.

Dan Abeshouse is a Baltimore Ravens Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Danabeshouse82, Like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google

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