Is Ray Rice done?

November 11, 2013 | Drew Forrester

Is Ray Rice done?

No one around town wants to say it.

A lot of people have been thinking it, but no one wants to actually come out and write it, tweet it or say it.

But, there’s no sense in burying the story any longer.

It’s simple, really.

If Ray Rice ISN’T hurt — and he continues to pledge to anyone who will listen that he isn’t — then his days as a contributor in the NFL are over.

I have no idea how that happened, but it apparently has, right before our very eyes over the last nine games.

Anyone who has followed the NFL knows this is precisely how it happens.  A running back just shows up one day and it’s not there anymore.  There appears to be no explanation for it.  He ran the ball like a demon last year.  This year, his legs don’t work.  How?  Why?  Who knows…it just happens that way with running backs for some reason.

It would appear, unless Rice is hiding a lingering issue, that he’s facing the same sort of abrupt end to his useful days in Baltimore and, perhaps, the league as a whole.

Yes, yes, yes, the Ravens offensive line is horrible.  That’s a certainty.  Bernard Pierce isn’t exactly lighting it up either, as anyone who has watched the games will remind me.

But, even when he gets some breathing room or catches a ball in the open field, Rice just doesn’t have it.  He can’t make tacklers miss with those elusive jukes and dodgy moves we saw from him a few years ago.  Did you see Giovani Bernard run the ball yesterday for the Bengals?  That’s precisely what Ray Rice looked like in 2009, 2010 and 2011.  He hit the hole, quickly, got to the second level, made linebackers miss, and was good for 100 yards of per-game offense with his eyes closed.

I hope I’m wrong, because Rice has been an outstanding contributor to the Ravens both on and off the field.  Few players in purple have embraced the community like he has and his “anti-bullying” efforts with the Baltimore school system is a much-needed message to send from one of Baltimore’s premier athletes.

But…if you can’t run the ball and help the team’s offense, you’re no longer valuable.

Everyone’s been thinking it…

Yesterday’s performance against the Bengals was the moment I went from thinking it to saying it.

Unless he’s hurt, Ray Rice looks finished.

I hope I’m wrong.

 

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13 Comments For This Post

  1. The Armchair QB Says:

    If Rice is done, then so is Pierce! Neither of them are able to run behind this “O” line that saw them often tackled in the backfield as soon as they got the ball. Circumstantial evidence points to Rice suffering effects of his hip injury despite what he and Harbaugh say! His blocking ability is being affected as well and, if they aren’t playing “hurt” why sign Bernard Scott, which smacks of the same desperation as the signing of Clark and Stokely! Both the running and passing games are being hindered by a lack of playmakers at WR that has defenses playing “man” coverage while putting 7 in the “box” and literally overwhelming the “O” line! Of course, the new Run Game Coordinator has to share in the blame, too……..

  2. Vince Says:

    I first noticed it on the last play of the Cleveland game. He normally can make a cut and make at least one guy miss in the open field. It’s like he tried, but his body did not respond. It could be it was the last play and he was tired, or his heart wasn’t in it. It didn’t look like the 4th and 29 Ray Rice.

    Something is definitely wrong.

  3. unitastoberry Says:

    I think both guys are still hurting from lingering injuries.Harbs is hush hush on injuries and will never admit anything. But if you cant run the ball when it gets cold your done. It’s like the year Joe had the deep hip hematoma it takes a long time to heal but you can be effective at QB with that but not at RB.

  4. joe of bel air Says:

    If Ray Rice is hurt and it is impacting his performance then he has no business being out there. I think it is a combination of things but one of the factors is that Rice has lost something. Combine that with an offensive line that is struggling and with a group of wide receivers who have difficulty getting open and it is easy to see why Rice is averaging 2.4 yards per carry.

  5. Brian Says:

    Rice needs to sit for at least two weeks, start Pierce with Scott as his back up.

    For the record: Pierce out gained Rice by an average of 2 yards per carry. Start Pierce.

  6. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Ray Rice just might be a cap casualty next year if he doesn’t turn it around. It’s time to look at Caldwell & his play calling & lack of offense. We have no running game, we can’t catch a cold & the O line can’t block, some of this blame has to fall onto his shoulder, as it did with Cam Cameron! What a pleasure watching Sean Payton & Drew Breeze display a real NFL offense, one that Raven fans can only hope for. We are in deep DO-DO & looking like there’s no way out.Things have to start changing pretty quick to have a chance of making the play-offs!!!

  7. sal Says:

    drew i agree with you for first time ray rice is done, everytime he gets the ball he falls down like his legs give out. anyway GO OS bring back Sidney Ponson

  8. Vince Fiduccia Says:

    Shaun Alexander went from 1,880 yards in his sixth season in the league (2005) to 896 yards (2006) and 771 yards (2007) in his last two seasons. Running Backs can lose it that quick.

  9. BK Says:

    I agree, Rice may be finished as an offensive weapon in this league. To all of those who keep calling out the O-Line (which I agree is just dreadful) or the blocking schemes, the assessment has nothing to do with that at all. It has to do with what Rice does when he does get the ball in space or does have a hole to run through. Yesterday was the most evident all year because he did finally have several touches in space and did absolutely nothing with them. Instead of one juke, plant, and blow by a defender, he is making two and three moves and then basically falling into the defender’s tackle. The ’8-yard’ play you speak of that Rice made, would have been a 15 to 20 yarder any other year as he again ‘fell’ into the defender after tripping over his feet with a few weak moves.

    I wish him the best, but may no longer be needing his services at the price he is paid. We should all thank him for what he has done for our franchise and helping us win our second super bowl. We love ya Ray!

  10. Dan Says:

    IF , Ray is done , and I think he may be done , that would leaves us with Bernard Peirce ( from Temple) as our running game .This tells me somebody in management has dropped the ball , big time .

  11. Dan Says:

    hey diddle diddle , Ray Rice up te middle . Is that a ball he’s carrying , NO, must be a big Bass Fiddle !

  12. tsnamm Says:

    I said it last week that Ray doesn’t even look like the same player from last year. As others have pointed out here even when he’s open he can’t get away from anyone, and the idea of him breaking a plugged hole into a 70 yard TD run is as close to unthinkable as you can get. That being said, what should the Ravens do? Considering his body of work, to you bring him back next year hoping that this year is a fluke combination of nagging unpublicized injuries and a bad O-line? Thinking he will return to his form from years prior. Or do they cut bait and move on? As much as the NFL has become a QB/passing league, you have to have at least a minimum running game in order to win. What’s so shocking is that the Ravens went from one of the League’s best to one of the League’s worst, in less than 1 season, with hardly too many roster differences. It will be an interesting off season to say the least.

  13. David Says:

    You have to at some point as a reasonable fan acknowledge that there is something wrong with Ray Rice. It could be a injury or lingering pains or it could just be hes washed up and done. He is starting to remind me of Jamal Lewis in his last season here. Was a great runner, got hurt, got scared, stuttered stepped to the line every carry and was a shell of his once former self. I am in no means a NFL expert or coach or anything like that but maybe its time to give Ray a rest and see what Pierce can do. He clearly is not Ray but maybe he gets something going. There have only been 3 or 4 teams i can think of who have had success with out a good run game. Mainly because they had some guys named Brees, Brady, Rodgers, and Manning at the helm along with a cast of good to great wide receivers. For the past 2 years in Detroit Matt Stafford has put up fantastic numbers but never had a run game so they never quite put it all together to win. Now he has Reggie Bush and the whole game changes for them and allows for more things to happen. Either way hurt or not the Ravens are not built to win with out a strong running game from Ray Rice.

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