Ray Rice's catch and run for a first down on fourth and 29 was the one play that turned an obvious Baltimore Ravens loss into an improbable 16-13 overtime victory against the San Diego Chargers.
There is no question that Ravens RB Ray Rice provided the single best highlight from the team's comeback win yesterday. The Ravens needed 29 yards on fourth down and when QB Joe Flacco tossed a short pass to Rice just beyond the line of scrimmage, legions of Ravens fans let loose a chorus of groans expecting Rice to come nowhere near the 29 yards needed to give the team a chance at the game-tying field goal.
However, Rice turned in what might not only be the best individual play of the year for the Ravens, but for the entire league this season. Rice gained 29 yards and a foot, eluding six of the eleven Chargers players on the field until two more combined to make the tackle.
The play was all individual effort, all Ray Rice, as it appeared he knew he had to put the tem on his back and get to the first down marker. Moments after being tackled, still lying under the Chargers players, Rice looked to his left, knowing he was close to the first down. Even after the officials reviewed, replaced and re-measured, the play stood and the Ravens had made it by a foot.
The official stats line will show that Ray Rice ran for 97 yards on 22 carries (4.4 yards/carry) and a long of 16 yards. He added 67 yards on eight receptions (8.4 yards/catch) with that 29-yard scamper the longest. His combined yardage totaled 164 yards but no one will remember anything other than those 29 yards, which probably took him fifty yards to get that first down.