OWINGS MILLS - Following Monday's win against the Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice joked, "This was really fun for me. I barely got hit tonight."
But while Monday's offense was more centered around Joe Flacco and the passing game, this week's matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles could be more of a showcase for Rice and the ground attack.
The Eagles have arguably the league's top pass rush as well as one of the NFL's most talented cornerback tandems in Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Rice averaged 23 touches per game each of the last two seasons, but had only 13 touches - 10 carries and three catches - Monday night as Flacco had success against a suspect Bengals secondary.
Against a more talented pass defense, Rice is likely to see his carries increase, although Rice downplayed the significance of his workload Wednesday.
"You've just got to do whatever works," Rice said. "As far as our offense, it's all just about execution. We're all just trying to win games around here. That's all that matters to us."
Rice's touches have been a hot topic since Monday.
The multi-dimensional Rice has been the Ravens' primary offensive catalyst since taking over as the starting running back in 2009.
But with Flacco improving and some emerging weapons around him - including wide receiver Torrey Smith and tight end Dennis Pitta - Harbaugh said Tuesday that this could be a year where Baltimore spreads the ball around a little more than it has in the past.
"I don't think Ray's role is going to dwindle," Harbaugh said. "But, I think when you put more guys out there touching the ball that are capable, then you like spreading those touches around. Hopefully Ray's touches are that much more effective as a result of that."
Rice picked up 68 yards and scored two touchdowns on his 10 carries against the Bengals. He added 25 yards on three catches.
But regardless of how many touches Rice gets against the Eagles, Philadelphia figures to provide a challenge to the Ravens offense.
Already armed with a potent pass rush and a talented secondary, the Eagles' run defense is now much improved as well.
Philadelphia struggled against the run last season, but traded for former Pro Bowl linebacker Demeco Ryans and selected defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and outside linebacker Mychal Kendricks in the first two rounds of April's NFL draft.
And after allowing seven different running backs to rush for more than 100 yards last year, the new-look Ryans-led run defense limited Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson to just 39 yards on 19 carries Sunday.
"They have a good front," Flacco said. "They've had a good defense there for a lot of years. They have good [defensive backs]. They can put pressure on the quarterback, and they can cover in the backend to even create a little more pressure. They do a really good job, and it's going to be a tough task. It should be a great test for Week 2."
FLACCO HONORED: Flacco was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Monday's 44-13 season-opening blowout of the Bengals.
Against Cincinnati, Flacco threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns while completing 21 of his 29 pass attempts.
This is the second time Flacco has earned the honor, the other time coming during his rookie season in 2008.
Flacco devalued the importance of the award, however.
"I'm happy because it means we had a good day on offense," Flacco said. "We put up some points, but really our focus is Philadelphia now. I'm not too concerned about what happened last week."
INJURY REPORT: Outside linebacker Paul Kruger (back), center Matt Birk (thigh) and defensive lineman Pernell McPhee (knee) were among four non-participants in Wednesday's practice for the Ravens.
Offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf) was the other.
Ed Reed (thigh) was a limited participant.
For the Eagles, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (hip) was the only player that didn't participate Wednesday.
Maclin, Philadelphia's leading receiver last season, suffered a hip pointer during the Eagles' 17-16 win against the Browns Sunday. His availability for this weekend appears to be very much up in the air.