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.
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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.”