BALTIMORE MD - NOVEMBER 7: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on November 7 2010 in Baltimore Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Dolphins 26-10. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
After yesterday's 26-10 win for the Baltimore Ravens over the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Beatdown has a tall task of determining who merits the Sprint 'Game Ball of the Week.' The list of those well deserving of it included Joe Flacco, the guys in the secondary who picked off Dolphins QB Chad Henne three times, and placekicker Billy Cundiff, who nailed four FG's and put almost every kickoff deep into the end zone for touchbacks.
However, the obvious honoree this week needs to be running back Ray Rice, who ran and caught passes that frustrated the players, coaches and the fans, especially my three cousins born and raised in Miami as Dolphins' fans, who came to Baltimore to join me at the game. What a poor host I turned out to be, huh!?
Rice sliced and diced the Dolphins defense for 180 total yards, 83 on the ground on 22 attempts, and 97 through the air on seven pass receptions. All afternoon, Flacco found Ray open in the flats andhe then outran the slower linebackers desperately trying to catch him from behind. This time the fans were not upset with Joe checking down to Ray, as Rice was so wide open a few times, there was no one near him until long after he had turned the short pass into a first down and huge gain.
Ray Rice touched the ball 29 times yesterday and made the most of his opportunities, averaging six yards every time he got the ball one way or another. However, the disturbingtrend I wrote abut last year of giving Rice the ball on the very next play after a big gain continues to almost always result in little or no gain when they have a tired opponent's defense on the field and a rested and bigger Willis McGahee on the sidelines. McGahee got his chances as well, catching the screen pass on the Ravens first possession and taking it 32 yards for the opening score.
Congrats to Ray Rice for earning this week's Sprint 'Game Ball of the Week!'