AFC North High Energy Player of the Week

December, 21, 2010
12/21/10
3:00
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A look at a player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 15.

It was a throwback kind of game for the Baltimore Ravens' offense in Week 15.

[+] EnlargeRay Rice
AP Photo/Nick WassThe Saints didn't have an answer for Ray Rice, who rushed for 153 yards and added 80 yards receiving.
Ray Rice left. Rice right. Rice catch. Rice touchdown. Then repeat.

Baltimore went back to its 2009 formula to pull off an impressive 30-24 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. With added weapons this year such as former Pro Bowl receivers Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Rice has had fewer opportunities. Rice entered last weekend with a five-game streak of fewer than 20 carries.

But Baltimore (10-4) went back to running the ball and gave its Pro Bowl tailback a season-high 31 carries for 153 yards. Rice also had five catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns -- one rushing, one receiving.

Good things happen when Rice touches the football. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry, 16.0 yards per reception and was the one player New Orleans (10-4) never had an answer for. Receivers Boldin, Houshmandzadeh and Derrick Mason combined for just three catches.

With Baltimore heading toward the playoffs, Rice needs to remain a major part of the offense. He still has fresh legs this season and the ability to change games.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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