- Campbell Soup apologizes for SpaghettiOs’ Pearl Harbor tweet
- Former Reagan aide James Baker: President regretted apartheid veto
- Some donations to gay waitress who allegedly forged hate note refunded
- German President Joachim Gauck boycotting Sochi Olympics
- Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel: If you want to pay more for your doctor, you can under Obamacare
- Sen. Rand Paul: ‘I am seriously thinking about’ running for president in 2016
- Sleet, ice, deepfreeze hit large swath of U.S.
- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
Ray Rice is rested, ready as Ravens visit Broncos
Use of ‘fresh’ back key to slowing Denver’s Peyton Manning
This season, however, has been different. Rice had a combined 318 carries and catches over the 16-game schedule, the lowest total since his rookie year in 2008.
“I’m fresh in the playoffs. I’m healthy,” the 5-foot-8 Rice said. “This is the best I’ve ever felt, but obviously, that’s because I’ve had a guy come in, and when he gets in there, and we don’t lose a step.”
Pierce will get his share of carries against the Broncos, but the Ravens will be counting heavily on Rice to help establish ball control and, in the process, keep Denver quarterback Peyton Manning off the field.
“He’s a great back and can obviously turn a little play into a 50-yard gain,” Baltimore guard Marshal Yanda said. “It’s exciting to block for guys like that. You want guys like that on your team — playmakers. He’s been doing that for us for five years. We know what he’s about and how important he is to our offense.”
His numbers during the regular season are usually impressive, but in the playoffs he’s topped the 70-yard mark on the ground only once — a 159-yard effort against New England in January 2010.
“Obviously, I want to be a guy that’s remembered by his playoff play,” Rice said. “It’s time to step it up another level.”
Sometimes, though, his presence in the backfield is all it takes to help Baltimore win.
“There might be times where in the pass game I took out two defenders so one guy can get open,” Rice said. “There are times where there’s a fake where Joe Flacco can fake it to me, and there’s an over route coming across the middle. If it’s being a decoy, that’s sometimes what you have to be. I like having the target on my back.”
That bulls-eye is being shared by Pierce, who ran for 103 yards last week in Baltimore’s 24-9 win over Indianapolis. Although Rice should get the majority of the carries Saturday, Pierce will see playing time, too.
“The fact that the altitude is probably going to be a factor as far as guys who are carrying the ball getting gassed, those two guys are going to take care of each other,” coach John Harbaugh said. “That’s something we’ve been building on.”
But Rice remains the focal part of the offense.
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Sen. Rand Paul: Supreme Court needs to re-examine Fourth Amendment
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Dick Cheney: Family feud over gay marriage has been 'dealt with'
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- Sen. Rand Paul: Long-term unemployment benefits are disservice to workers
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Let it snow
White House pets gone wild!