In 89 career games, counting postseason appearances, Ray Rice has fumbled 13 times, losing 11 of them.
That's good for an average of 0.12 lost fumbles per game. Point is, Rice doesn't have much of a history for fumbling the ball away on a week in, week out basis.
Therefore, it was somewhat surprising that former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, now an analyst with the NFL Network, criticized Rice for not being able to hold on to the football.
"Ray Rice we know is a Pro Bowler that can make big plays for you, but he has a tendency of fumbling the ball entirely too much," McNabb said on-air. "So, expect for Bernard Pierce to really step up and be that guy."
Rice was asked about the critique, to which the Pro Bowl running back discussed at length.
"That’s his opinion. I’ll be honest, I always respected him, and one thing I don’t do is retaliate back," Rice said. "The only thing I can do is get better for next season, and obviously, if you look at the stats, numbers, whatever it was – that’s his opinion. But to the world’s opinion, I’m still who I am, still made the Pro Bowl last year, and still won a Super Bowl.
"But, that’s the past, and obviously, he’s well-respected amongst the league and I have nothing bad to say against the guy. But it’s one of those things where every year, every year there’s something. If all was good to say about me, then I have nothing to prove. But if you’re saying something that obviously you feel like there’s a problem, it’s my job to prove myself right, not the next person"
Perhaps McNabb was dwelling on Rice's 2012 postseason, which saw him fumble to ball away three times in four games. But factor in Rice's entire body of work throughout his career and it doesn't appear indicative to his ability to secure the football.
In 1,755 career touches, in his regular season and playoff opportunities, Rice coughs up the ball on an average of once every 135 times, losing the ball once every 159.5 times.
Rice said he'll use McNabb's words as motivation.
"That’s what always fuels me, year-in and year-out, because somebody finds something against my game and says something about it, and I just try to prove myself right, not the next person. So, I just keep working and keep working, and that’s what’s kept me at this high level."
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