Prior to losing a fumble on the Ravens’ first possession of Sunday’s 24-9 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Wildcard round, Ray Rice had gone 445 consecutive touches without losing the football.
The three-time Pro Bowl running back hadn’t lost a fumble since Dec. 11, 2011. So coughing up the ball twice Sunday was somewhat surprising.
Rice owned up to the gaffes, but when pressed on whether he was trying to make a little more out of the play, he got a little defensive.
“I didn’t fumble all year. So I don’t really get that question,” Rice said. “It’s just me being smart in the situation. You look at how many touches I had already. My fumble ratio is way down. Once again, I’m going to address it – I’m not a fumbler. You guys know that, and that’ll be the last time I address me fumbling. It won’t happen again.”
After Rice’s second fumble early in the fourth quarter, Rice got two more carries and was targeted once by quarterback Joe Flacco in one offensive series. By comparison, rookie Bernard Pierce rushed three times on one possession and three more on the team’s final series.
Flacco said Rice’s mistakes did not change the offense’s faith in the starting running back.
“Stuff happens, it’s tough,” Flacco said. “Sometimes people hit the ball, and the ball comes out. It’s just something that we have to adjust to as the game goes on, and we did a good job. We didn’t let it affect us too much, and we continued to go out there and run our offense and put points on the board.”