The reward that Ray Rice cared about after the Ravens' 24-16 victory Sunday over the Cincinnati Bengals was the AFC North title, a first-round bye, and a second-round home playoff game.
However, Rice's performance got him a personal honor as well as the running back was named today the AFC Offensive Player of the Week after he rushed for 191 yards and two touchdowns, and caught two passes for eight yards.
Rice got the Ravens started with a 70-yard touchdown run on their fourth offensive play from scrimmage. He then all but put the Bengals away with a 49-yard touchdown run with 5:41 left in the fourth quarter to give the Ravens a 24-13 lead.
With the two scores, Rice set a single-season Ravens' record with 15 touchdowns. He also set a new career-high with 1,364 rushing yards, second in the NFL to only the Jacksonville Jaguars' Maurice Jones-Drew.
"His vision and his courses and his aiming points and all those things continue to get better all the time," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of Rice. "He is still young, he is still growing. His best football is still in front of him."
It is the second time this season Rice has won this particular honor, and the eight time a Raven has been recognized as an AFC Player of the Week. Wide receiver Torrey Smith and linebackers Ray Lewis and Jarret Johnson won once each, and linebacker Terrell Suggs was recognized as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week three times this season.