The Baltimore Ravens, for the last three years at least, have been off and on when it comes to Ray Rice getting his touches. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose. And every single time the Ravens have lost over the last three seasons, I see people on TV or other fans who don’t watch the Ravens as much as I do say that Rice needs to get the ball more. Well, easier said than done.
When Rice doesn’t touch the ball, a lot of people like to attribute that to Joe Flacco wanting to showcase himself as an elite quarterback, or the fact that the Ravens’ offensive coaches want to be more flashy. Trust me, the Ravens want Rice to touch the ball as much as they can. But some people are asking the Ravens to force feed Rice the ball, and it doesn’t make any sense.
So far in the 2013 season, this has been the summary of the Ravens’ running game: First down, run the ball with Rice, and he gets tackled for a two-yard loss to make it second-and-12. Second down, Rice carries the ball again to make it third-and-nine. This sequence obviously leads to Flacco having to throw to keep the chains moving.
The Ravens get the ball back again on their next possession, and this is their next drive: Rice carries the ball of first down for two yards to make it second-and-eight. Rice carries the ball once more for three yards to make it third-and-five. You see this is becoming a trend, right?
So for the people who say Rice doesn’t carry the ball enough, when do those people stop blaming Flacco and the coaching staff and start blaming the offensive line for not creating holes to run through?
There’s a small group of people who are saying that Rice is on the decline this year as he is averaging 3.0 yards per-carry. But wait. Ravens backup running back Bernard Pierce is in his second year in the NFL, and he is only averaging 2.7 yards per-carry. Yeah, we can all see now that the offensive line is the problem.
It all starts up front people, and the Ravens are finding out that this cliché is easier said than done on the field as well.
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