Sunday’s 20-13 win against the Houston Texans in the AFC divisional round overshadowed the offense’s futility on short-yardage situations.
In 10 plays involving two yards or less needed to gain either a first down or a touchdown, the Ravens were successful three times – a one-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joe Flacco to tight end Kris Wilson in the first quarter, a five-yard run by running back Ricky Williams in the second quarter, and a one-yard plunge by fullback Vonta Leach in the fourth quarter.
Most notable were running back Ray Rice being unable to score from the two-yard line on third and fourth downs in the third quarter and Rice and Leach getting stuffed on second and third downs in the fourth period.
Rice, who finished the regular season tied for eighth in the AFC in third-and-one conversions with a 75 percent success rate, said he is eager to get another crack.
“Against Cincinnati [in Week 17], I had the third-and-one that went for a [51-yard] touchdown,” Rice said. “You’ve just got to buckle up in those situations. Every running back will tell you, if it’s a yard, don’t matter if a guy is unblocked, we want to have that opportunity. So, yes, as a running back, I would have loved to have that opportunity back. With that being said, we got to the next week. And I don’t care how we win the game; we’re back into next week. So it’s just a great opportunity for us to do it all over again.”