As soon as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis announced his retirement this season, the spotlight turned to him. In his 17th season with the Ravens, Lewis has become an inspiration and role model for the people of Baltimore. The Raven’s motivation for the playoffs was now simple: win it all for Ray.
Another Raven who is constantly under scrutiny is QB Joe Flacco. After receiving constant criticism from multiple analyst’s and experts about not being “elite”, he pushed past quarterbacks like Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady. With one more game ahead of him this season, Flacco finally has a chance to silence all his haters.
But where does that leave Ray Rice? In the shadows. Rice rushed for 1,143 yards this season, his worst number since 2008. The Ravens offense has taken flight, and they are relying more on Flacco’s arm than Rice’s legs.
In the wild-card round against Indianapolis, Rice ran 15 for 68 yards, lost two fumbles, yet the Ravens won. He rushed 19 times for 48 yards against the Patriots, and the Ravens won. If you were to ask Rice if this bothered him, he would tell you no.
When asked about what it felt like to be shut out, Rice answered that you have a different job to do, block for your receivers. He understands the amount of talent in wide receivers the Ravens have. He did, however, ponder what it would be like to be the MVP of the Super Bowl.
When you look at a young talent like Ray Rice, he has the rest of his career to make a major impact. The attention right now is on Ray Lewis, and the only thing he can do is have a standout performance when he does get the ball. Rice said now he’s playing for a “complete legacy.”