After an absolutely dominating performance by the Ravens running backs against the Denver Broncos in week five, the Ravens have finally established their running game, led by third year back Ray Rice. The 5′ 8″ tailback slashed the Denver defense for 133 yards and two touchdowns with a long of 18 yards. His supporting staff of Willis McGahee and LeRon McClain emerged for the first time in 2010 and the trio is poised for another big performance in week six against the New England Patriots.
You may recall that the last meeting between the Ravens and the Patriots in New England was a 33-14 win in the postseason last year. Just 15 seconds into the game Ray Rice broke an 83 yard touchdown and went on score another and rush for 159 yards. The three-headed monster totaled 229 yards and reached the end zone four times.
Up until week 5, the Ravens have been out to prove that they are a pass first offense. Ray Rice didn’t reach the end zone or break 100 yards rushing until he faced the Broncos, compared to last season in which he rushed for 108 yards in week one.
Though Tom Brady always provides a threat for the defenses in the NFL, the New England defense is nearly as soft as the Broncos. In four games this season, they are averaging 112.2 rushing yards allowed per game and 4.4 yards per rush. They have allowed four rushing touchdowns this season and allow 24 points per game.
Though barely used until this week, Baltimore’s rushing offense ranks 14th in the NFL with 114.0 yards per game and 3.6 yards per carry. Their number one back, Rice, is averaging 4.2 yards this season in 87 attempts. This week, the Ravens should establish Rice and the running game again in New England. That game plan will wear down the Patriots defense and keep Tom Brady off the field on his home turf.
What do you think of the Ravens 3-headed monster and offensive game plan in New England?