Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun
December 2, 2012
Strangely, Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice only ranks 13th in the NFL in carries with 198 rushes for 872 yards and eight touchdowns. He also has 49 receptions for 409 yards.
Rice is on pace to gain 1,162 yards and catch 65 passes for 545 yards.
He's obviously capable of greater production.
Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron didn't get Rice a single touch during the fourth quarter of a 23-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, despite Rice gaining 78 yards on a dozen carries through three quarters, including a 34-yard touchdown run.
Cameron has suggested that the Ravens are preserving Rice for the stretch run.
Now is definitely that time.
Rice is on pace for 264 carries, currently averaging 16.5 runs per game. Last season, he had 291 carries for a career-high 1,364 yards, so his numbers are down a bit.
Although no one in the organization has been critical of the play-calling, behind the scenes can be an entirely different story and message.
Undoubtedly, Cameron has heard that he should get the ball to Rice more often and the bet here is that he does that against the Redskins if the line of scrimmage isnt stacked up too much.
Looking at the trends with Rices involvement this season, Cameron has usually reacted to a game where Rice had a low amount of carries by making a concerted effort to get him the football the following week.
Rice had 10 carries for 68 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The following week, he had 16 carries for 99 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles, although Rice never touched it in short-yardage situations.
When Rice had a season-low nine carries for 42 yards in a 43-13 loss to the Houston Texans, he had a season-high 25 carries for 98 yards the next game against the Cleveland Browns.
This figures to be another time when Rice gets the football a bit more, and perhaps that will hold true for the entire month and the playoffs.