While quarterback Joe Flacco and wide receiver Anquan Boldin enjoyed success in the Ravens’ 23-20 loss to the New England Patriots in Sunday’s AFC championship game, the same could not be said for running back Ray Rice.
Rice managed just 67 yards on 21 carries. His longest run was 12 yards, and he accounted for just four (one via catch) of the offense’s 19 first downs.
“Then coming here, Ray Rice andRicky [Williams], we knew we had to slow those guys down,” Wilfork said. “We did that and we knew we had a pretty good chance to win the ballgame. It worked out well for us. We started fast. That’s one thing defensively we wanted to do, start fast. I think we did. We got on the field, we got off the field. Any time you can start fast, it’s a positive thing. That’s what we’re going to have to continue to do next week also.”
Added Ravens coach John Harbaugh: “I think they did commit to stopping the run. We started wearing them down a little bit, had a little more success as the game went on, but give them credit. They did a nice job, especially early in the game. It’s a good front, it’s a good defense, and it’s a good football team.”
Rice has gone his last five postseason games without rushing for 100 yards. Rice, who totaled 78 yards from scrimmage against the Patriots, also hasn’t surpassed 100 total yards from scrimmage in his last four playoff contests.
Left guard Ben Grubbs said Rice’s production shouldn’t be surprising considering the amount of attention he gets from opponents.
“Everybody keys on Ray,” Grubbs said. “He’s an elite back, and he’s done a great job this year, and he’s earned that. A lot of teams know that he’s a threat, so they make that adjustment when they play us.”