According to Donovan McNabb, he believes that Rice will not have a productive year in 2013 and will instead, take step back.
McNabb spoke on NFL Network’s Total Access recently and said, “Ray Rice fumbled the ball entirely too much last year.”
I am not blaming McNabb for all of this because I am sure it was the writers on the show that came up with this narrative, but that doesn’t make the point any more valid.
In the 2012 regular season, Rice only fumbled the ball one time, and it was recovered by the Ravens. So to say that Ray Rice will be going backwards in 2013 and not having a productive year does not sound right at all.
Rice ranks very low, in a good way, with only one regular season fumble last year as compared to players such as Willis McGahee and Jamaal Charles who both had 5 fumbles and lead all running backs in that category.
Now I understand that, in the playoffs, Rice did fumble the ball three times (twice against the Indianapolis Colt in the AFC Wild Card game, and once against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII). And don’t get me wrong – those are big games to fumble the ball in, but the Ravens were still victorious in the end.
McNabb also goes on to say that he expects running back Bernard Pierce to step up and “be the guy.”
I hope Pierce does step up and play great in his second season with the team.
Pierce is explosive and can break tackles. He carried the ball 108 times in the regular season and accounted for 532 yards and one touchdown. In the postseason, Pierce also put in 39 carries for 202 yards. Those are very impressive numbers for a rookie running back playing behind a pro bowl running back in Ray Rice.
Ravens fans know they saw a lot of positive, exciting plays from the young man out of Temple last season. I am not expecting Pierce to split carries with Rice yet, but having a dual threat at any position in today’s game is a positive.