Last week, the Baltimore Ravens got back to their fundamentals and ran the ball 37 times with great results. Between running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, the Ravens rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Helping the cause was fullback Vonta Leach, who had perhaps his best game of the season. This week, the Ravens will face another porous run defense in the Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders’ defense gave up 278 net rushing yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, who averaged 8.7 yards per carry. Rookie running back Doug Martin ripped off several huge runs, setting a franchise record with 251 rushing yards.
Poor tackling was the main culprit, but it won’t get any easier for the Raiders, who will now have to tackle the elusive and powerful Rice, who’s known for his ability to break tackles.
It should be a huge day for Rice who is averaging close to 5 yards a carry this season.
Despite the high average, Rice hasn’t rushed for over 100 yards since week five against the Kansas City Chiefs, where he ran for 102 and a touchdown. He came just short of the century mark last week against the Browns, reaching 98 yards on 25 attempts.
Rice is highly capable of having a huge game against the Raiders, but it’s up to offensive coordinator Cam Cameron to give him that opportunity. Cameron has received a lot of criticism for the lack of run plays, and there’s really no excuse for Rice to have any less than 20 carries today.
Facing a Raiders defense that ranks 22nd against the run is plenty of incentive to give him those carries, and if they do, the Ravens will literally run away with a win.