In looking back at the NFL Top 100 Players of 2011, we glance once again, thanks to Football News Now, at #56 on the list, Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice. Rice finished as the sixth best running back on the list that still has the Top Ten to go, which should still include Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson somewhere in the final group.
As good as Rice was last year and is expected to be again in 2011, he actually had a down season compared to 2009. In 2010 his rushing (1,220 yards) and receiving (556 yards) stats dropped off from his 2009 rushing (1,339) and receiving (702) yards. However that is mostly because of the desire to focus on the passing attack, which added wide receiver Anquan Boldin this past season.
Going forward for 2011, the Ravens are faced with the possibilities of losing both RB Willis McGahee and FB LeRon McClain, which should end up putting more carries in the hands of Ray Rice. In addition, with an improved offensive line, his yardage stats should increase as welll as his receiving numbers due to the addition of speedy rookie WR Torrey Smith, whose presence should open up things underneath for the shifty Rice.