Friday, January 4, 2013
Ravens need Rice to break playoff slump
By Jamison Hensley
Everyone remembers Ray Rice's first carry as a starting running back in the postseason. Three years ago in New England, he broke an 83-yard run for a touchdown, the second-longest run in NFL playoff history.
What you may not know is how Rice has failed to make an impact on the ground after that game. In five playoff games since, Rice hasn't rushed for more than 70 yards and has averaged 3.3 yards per carry. In comparison, Rice has averaged 4.5 yards per carry for his career in the regular season.
The Ravens need Rice to break that slump against the Colts, who are once again vulnerable against the run. Indianapolis ranks 29th in run defense, allowing 137.5 yards on the ground per game. The Colts have allowed six running backs to gain over 100 yards against them this season: Maurice Jones-Drew, Shonn Greene, C.J. Spiller, Arian Foster, Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis. Indianapolis also gave up 352 yards on the ground to Kansas City a couple of weeks ago.
Rice's unspectacular numbers in the postseason are surprising considering his consistency in the regular season. Since 2009, when he became the featured running back, Rice has produced 39 games of at least 100 total yards, the most in the NFL during that span. But Rice hasn't cracked 100 total yards in his last four playoff games.