The Ravens' running game has practically taken a four-game nap this season, ranking 28th in the NFL with 64 yards per game and 30th with 2.6 yards per rush. The Ravens ran just nine times for 24 yards against the Bills, abandoning the ground game again once they fell behind, with just two runs after halftime. There hasn't been enough push created by the offensive line, particularly by tackles Bryant McKinnie and Michael Oher and center Gino Gradkowski. Three-time Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice, shown during a 2010 win over Miami, has yet to rush for even 40 yards in a game this season and has only 89 yards on 30 carries. At this rate, Rice would finish the regular season with a career-low 356 yards. Rice suggested this week that opponents have been more intense than the Ravens. Oher made the point that perhaps the holes need to get even bigger. Perhaps they're both correct. Rice and backup Bernard Pierce haven't been particularly decisive or explosive. That needs to change against a Dolphins run defense led by former Ravens inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who signed a five-year, $35 million contract with Miami this offseason. Gradkowski has an especially tough matchup with Dolphins defensive lineman Paul Soliai, a disruptive inside presence at 6 foot 4, 345 pounds.
Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun