Ravens running back Ray Rice is averaging just 2.7 yards per carry this season, well below his established level of play and well below what’s an acceptable number for a lead running back regardless of what they’ve done in the past.
Rice has maintained for the last couple of weeks that he’s totally healthy after injuring his hip flexor earlier this season, an injury that some pointed to as a potential reason for the sharp downturn in Rice’s play this season. Others have pointed to an ineffective offensive line, although coach John Harbaugh said this week that he thought that unit was taking too much blame for the offensive struggles.
Wherever you’d like to place the blame for what’s gone wrong in the first eight games, Rice is confident that things are going to be better in the second half.
“My level of confidence is where it was in Week One,” Rice said, via the Baltimore Sun. “I still believe we’ll get the run game going. We have the guys. It’s never going to be an effort thing. We’ve just seen some pretty good fronts, and I’ve battled through stuff this year. I don’t have to hesitate to do anything. I just want to go out there and let it fly. The next eight games, I’m just trying to go out there and be the best Ray Rice I can be for the next half of the season.”
There’s a saying that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, but the Ravens don’t have much choice other than doing just that. The team is pretty much what it is at this point in the season and the resurgence of the running game is going to have to come from the same players responsible for its decline.