There was a time not too long ago that Ray Rice was the most feared running back in the NFL. Unfortunately, one of the superstars of the Baltimore Ravens appears to be watching his career decline rapidly. There’s no question his stock has plummeted after he was arrested on a simple assault charge due to a fight with his fiancé.
Rice posted four straight seasons (2009-2012) with at least 1,143 rushing yards. That came to a halt in 2013 when he was only able to muster 660 yards on the ground in 15 games. A big reason why he had his worst season as a pro was because of the dismal play of the offensive line. With that being said, it wouldn’t be fair to put the blame completely on the guys up front. Rice’s injuries aside, he simply didn’t put forth a good enough effort last season.
Obviously, the decline in performance and offseason altercation certainly has the Ravens organization worried. It was quite clear last year that without Rice tearing it up on the ground, Baltimore simply couldn’t be successful. Joe Flacco, the receivers and the defense will only take the team so far. It is Rice’s rushing attack that gives the team the edge they need in order to make the machine run.
At this point, one has to wonder which direction Rice’s career is heading in. He has taken plenty of punishment over the past six years at a position that doesn’t have a long life span. There’s a good possibility that last year’s numbers are an indication of what’s to come, which certainly wouldn’t be good for the Ravens. With so many questions that don’t yet have answers, Rice needs to convince the organization that he can still play at a high level or suffer the ultimate consequence.