Rice's big game in Chicago gives hope for rebound

Rice's big game in Chicago gives hope for rebound
November 17, 2013, 9:30 pm
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Ray Rice on the end of regulation

CHICAGO - The Ravens didn’t get a victory against the Bears, but Ray Rice finally got rolling. Rice had his best game of the season by far – 25 carries, 131 yards, and a touchdown, including a 47-yard scamper in the first quarter. His longest carry up to that point this season was just 14 yards.

This was the Rice the Ravens had been waiting for all season. But was it a one-game outburst, against one of the NFL’s worst rushing defenses? Or is Rice ready to make a late-season push, one that may help an inconsistent offense that desperately needs him?

At least the Ravens have hope that Rice might be having a rebirth.

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“I would have loved to get the win,” Rice said. But that’s just how things have been shaking lately. We are getting better. We showed a lot of improvement, drastic improvement in our run game today. Before we talk about anything, any stat, we want the W. Tough one, but we have to get ready for the New York Jets next week.”

On his 47-yard scamper, Rice ran through a gaping hole on the left side of the line, cutting behind a block thrown by guard A. Q. Shipley. It was the most daylight Rice had seen on a running play this season.

“I made a joke with the guys on the sideline, I didn’t know what to do with a hole that big,” Rice said. “They got the job done.”

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Rice thought he could have enjoyed a bigger game, if not for the nearly two-hour weather delay.

“When you’ve got momentum, and your juices is flowing, you want to keep going, especially from my standpoint as a running back,” Rice said. “I rip off a 47-yard run, and the next thing you know in the first quarter, you’re talking about a delay. I was ready to roll. “

Rice has insisted for weeks that he was healthy, fully recovered from his early-season hip injury. Maybe he is. Even on shorter runs, Rice showed some of his former quickness despite the sloppy conditions. There were times when he made the first potential tackler miss. He seemed to run more decisively, anticipating that there would actually be creases he could find.

However, the Bears have struggled to stop the run all season. The Ravens next face the Jets, who boast one of the league’s better defensive lines. Will Rice go back to being stuffed? Or was this the start of something? Instead of waiting for next year for Rice, maybe the Ravens will only have to wait until next week.