Tale of the Tape on the 47-yard run by Ray Rice vs. the Bears
Each week, reporter and blogger Matt Vensel breaks down a critical play, sometimes with the help of Ravens players and coaches, from that week's game. Today, he breaks down Ravens running back Ray Rice's 47-yard run on his first carry of Sunday's 23-20 overtime loss to the Chicago Bears.
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1.( Screenshot / November 18, 2013 )
For weeks the Ravens had been waiting for a breakthrough in the running game, something that would not only balance their offense and get their three-time Pro Bowl running back going, but also silence the critics who took aim at Ray Rice, his offensive line and the zone-blocking schemes they have relied on.
The Ravens entered Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears averaging 2.8 yards per carry, which was ranked last in the NFL. They had only rushed for more than 100 yards in one game, which was six weeks ago in a win over the Miami Dolphins. And Rice's longest run of the season had gone for just 14 yards.
But on their first running play of their 23-20 overtime loss to the Bears, the Ravens finally got in sync and opened up a wide running lane for Rice, and it was fitting they did it on the type of zone-blocked stretch run that has been in the playbook for years but has come under scrutiny this season due to poor execution.
"We've been an inside and outside zone team since we got here," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said two weeks ago. "When you run this offense, the zone plays are the base plays that you run. And most every team in the league that's running this offense is running those same plays, and we've just got to get good enough to run them well. We've got the guys who can do it."
On the second play of the game, the Ravens trotted out their preferred personnel package with wide receiver Jacoby Jones alone on the left sideline and fellow wide-outs Tandon Doss and Torrey Smith on the right side of the field. Tight end Ed Dickson had his hand in the dirt next to left tackle Eugene Monroe. And Rice was lined up directly behind quarterback Joe Flacco, who was in the pistol formation.