Wake-up caw: Ray Rice gets his footing

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice quietly contributed 109 total yards in Sunday's 29-26 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Rice made his biggest impact in the second half, when he ran for 49 yards on nine carries. That's more than 5 yards per carry, which is significant improvement for a running back who has averaged less than 3 yards per carry for most of the season.

“It was pretty hard to get going footing-wise in the first half for either team as far as blocking and all those kinds of things [with the snow],” coach John Harbaugh said, via The Carroll County (Md.) Times. “[But] Ray was running hard north and south.”

Here's the rest of your wake-up caw ...

  • The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston believes the Ravens' mo-jo is back after that wild fourth quarter against the Vikings on Sunday. "This is not to say the Ravens were totally lucky because they made good calls and had several big plays in crunch time, but in the watered down NFL the difference between a contender looking for the sixth seed is luck," Preston wrote.

  • The Ravens' best asset is their refusal to quit, according to John Eisenberg of the team's official website. "When they were 4-6, they looked out of playoff contention, but they kept fighting and now they have a shot," Eisenberg wrote. "The Steelers had them on the ropes, but they kept fighting and hung on to win. Sunday, they absorbed haymaker blows from the Vikings in the final two minutes, a pair of stunning scores that seemed to determine the game. But they kept fighting and good things happened, as they usually do to teams that have been through the wars and never give in, regardless of what happens."

  • Despite being active Sunday, tight end Dallas Clark will still have a role with the Ravens. There have been questions about whether or not the Ravens need Clark with the return of Dennis Pitta. "Dallas is going to be a big part of what we're doing going forward," Harbaugh said, via The Baltimore Sun.