Based on our weekly SportsNation chat, the Baltimore Ravens player everyone wants to talk about is running back Ray Rice. Will he reach 1,000 yards rushing this year? Are his days of an explosive running back over?
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Kevin (Baltimore): Will Ray Rice top 1,000 rushing yards this season?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): No way that's going to happen. Rice would have to average 92.6 yards per game over the next eight weeks to reach 1,000 yards. I'm not sure Rice is going to reach 700 yards rushing this year.
Andy (Hagerstown, Md.): Lots of talk about Ray Rice and of other running backs who have had great runs only to hit a wall out of nowhere. I get we have issues on the offensive line, but with the fewest broken tackles of any running back in the league and a lack of burst. I'm just not buying the injury. Could Ray Rice be done as a top back in this league?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I still feel that the hip injury is affecting him. You have to remember that he gained over 100 yards rushing in two of his last three full regular-season games last year. He also ran for 131 yards in that OT win in Denver in the playoffs. I can't buy that he suddenly lost it from 10 months ago.
Mickey (Boston): This team is too flawed for a quick fix, but what do you see as the key to a turnaround? Man blocking? Pitta returning? Rice breaking tackles? Or are we DOOMED?!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): The key is getting something -- anything -- out of the running game and getting turnovers from the defense. Those are two of the areas holding this team back the most.
Rich (Glen Burnie, Md.): I agree with all of your midseason report grades (but I) might downgrade Flacco to a C-minus for a lack of pocket awareness and his inability to hit receivers in stride. What about passion, hunger and some of the more qualitative factors? I hate to side with national media but has the loss of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed really left us without an emotional leader or is it just Super Bowl hangover?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I kept the grade of 'C' for Flacco because I also took into account how everything else around him has fallen apart: run game, pass protection, dropped passes. The last game was the one where he really hurt the team with his inaccuracy. If there is one quality to question, it's toughness. I thought the Ravens undervalued the toughness that Anquan Boldin and Bernard Pollard gave them.