Good news for the running back Ray Rice returned to practice on Thursday in preparation for the upcoming battle against the New England Patriots.
While Rice has been up and down this season rushing the football (thanks in part to the Ravens’ offensive line issues) his return to practice could loom large on Sunday.
There is simply no other way to describe the Patriots run defense than “putrid.” They are fielding the leagues 31st-ranked run defense, giving up an average of 132.5 rushing yards a game to opposing running backs.
The last time the Ravens went up against such a porous run defense was back in week 11 against the Chicago Bears. Rice went off on the Bears defense for 131 yards rushing and a touchdown on 25 carries.
More importantly, the offensive lined turned in their best run blocking game of the season despite the sloppy conditions at Soldier Field.
With rain in the forecast for Sunday and Joe Flacco getting acclimated to his knee brace, I would expect the Ravens to be relying on the legs of both Bernard Pierce and Rice a lot, as well as utilizing Vonta Leach more than they have in recent weeks.
It remains to been seen how much the team uses Rice in practice the rest of the week; however, his return is certainly a welcome sight.
Let’s just hope Caldwell opens the playbook and takes advantage of a glaring weakness in Bill Belichick’s run defense.
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