Ravens' Rice managed rare feat last season
By Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Thursday, January 13, 2011
What Ravens running back Ray Rice did on Dec. 27, 2009 is the equivalent of getting 10 inches of snow here ... in July.
Rice gashed the Steelers for 141 rushing yards, solving a run defense that is the NFL's version of the Rubik's Cube.
The former Rutgers star is the only back to rush for 100 yards against the Steelers in their last 50 regular-season games. And it happened on the same field where the Ravens and Steelers will stage an AFC divisional playoff game Saturday.
Rice's big day in the penultimate game of the 2009 season was an anomaly as illustrated by what the third-year back has done against the Steelers since.
Rice rushed for 52 yards on 17 carries in the two games that the AFC North rivals played in the regular season. That is pretty much in line with what other running backs did against the Steelers in 2010.
The Steelers allowed just 62.8 rushing yards per game, which led the NFL and set a team record for single-season rushing defense.
As for the game Rice had against the Steelers a little more than a year ago, Steelers free safety Ryan Clark said it is ancient history.
"I think Ray Rice is a tremendous running back and probably their best weapon," Clark said, "but the fact that he rushed for 100 against us, nobody cares. That's not going to have any bearing on his game."
The top three individual rushing performances against the Steelers this season:
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots: 18 carries, 87 yards
Jonathan Stewart, Panthers: 18-71
Fred Jackson, Bills: 12-59
The top three team rushing performances against the Steelers:
1. Jets: 106
2. Patriots: 103
3. Buccaneers: 75
The Steelers against the top NFL five rushers this season (rank in parentheses):
Michael Turner, Falcons (3): 19 carries, 42 yards
Chris Johnson, Titans (4): 16-34
Note: The Steelers did not face Arian Foster (1), Jamaal Charles (2) or Maurice Jones-Drew (5)
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