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Ray Rice saves game for Ravens with amazing play on 4th and 29

The Baltimore Ravens were trailing the San Diego Chargers by a field goal with less than two minutes left to play on Sunday, and it appeared the game was over. The Ravens were facing fourth down, but not just any fourth down — 4th and 29. Joe Flacco saw nothing open downfield, so he checked it down to Ray Rice. A checkdown on 4th and 29? Might as well wave the white flag.

Not so fast. Rice caught the ball with room to run and somehow eluded several Chargers defenders to pick up 30 yards and keep the drive alive. Baltimore went on to tie the game at 13-13 with a field goal and then win in overtime.

The way I see it, the play was a microcosm of the seasons both teams are having. San Diego has choked at the most significant times all year long while the Ravens seem to always find a way to win. Having a playmaker like Rice has certainly helped make that possible.

Ray Rice: I wasn’t disrespectful with Terrible Towel

Ray Rice spoke this week to clear up matters regarding his use of the Pittsburgh Steelers “Terrible Towel.”

The Baltimore Ravens running back was photographed after his team’s 13-10 win over the Steelers last week with a Terrible Towel draped over his head. The Terrible Towels are waved by Steelers fans during games, and they’re considered a key accessory for the team’s supporters.

Rice wanted to explain his side after Pittsburgh linebacker LaMarr Woodley objected to his use of one. He says he had the towel over his head after trading his gloves to a Steelers fan for it.

“I actually asked a fan to trade like I’ve been trading jerseys with guys at the end of the game,” Rice said this week, per The Baltimore Sun. “So, I didn’t stomp it or do anything wrong. I actually walked out with it and I think I’m going to save it and put it in my basement to cherish the rivalry. It’s not like you get out there and do derogatory stuff and spit, no none of that stuff. If you think about it, where I’m at in my career, you cherish these rivalries, cherish the moments.

“I apologize to those who saw it as disrespectful. For me, I thought it was a pretty cool gesture, exchanging my gloves with a fan and walking out with it. Obviously, getting a victory there was cool and I leave it in the past. Their fans are great, the organization is great and the rivalry is always going to continue to be great. To have something in your basement to know what the rivalry is all about is pretty cool I’ve been exchanging jerseys with guys. My basement is geting pretty colorful down there with other teams’ stuff. [Having the towel was] not maliciously, just more out of respect.”

Rice also said he understood why the Steelers could have been upset, acknowledging that they may have been upset with him simply having one or messing with it. But he continued to clarify that he got it as a collector’s item and that he respects it.

Rice’s clarification should be enough to ingratiate him with Steelers fans, but when it comes to players like Woodley who will use anything for motivation on the field, the words may be meaningless.

Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

LaMarr Woodley tells Ray Rice using a Terrible Towel was a ‘bad idea’

Ray Rice was spotted with a Terrible Towel draped over his head after the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, and Pittsburgh linebacker LaMarr Woodley is not happy about it. Woodley apparently felt it was disrespectful of Rice, and he took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to warn him about it and remind everyone about two players who have done it in the past.

For those who are wondering, Around the League reminded us that Lendale White stomped on a Terrible Towel in 2008 while T.J. Houshmandzadeh used one to clean his cleats back in 2005. Woodley was still in college for the Housmandzadeh incident, but he is apparently well-read in Terrible Towel history. Both teams — White’s in 2008 and Houshmanzadeh’s in 2005 — tanked in the postseason and the Steelers went on to win the Super Bowl.

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J.J. Watt to Ray Rice: I’ve eaten burritos bigger than you (Video)

J.J. Watt was mic’d up for last Sunday’s Texans-Ravens game, and he got off one of the funniest trash talk lines we’ve ever heard. During ESPN’s halftime segment on Monday Night Football called “Soundtracks,” the Texans star defensive end was seen saying, “I’ve eaten burritos bigger than you,” to Rice. The line was so funny it appeared to even make one of the Ravens linemen laugh.

Rice is 5’8″ and 212 pounds, so he is definitely short, but he’s also muscular.

For the second week in a row, ESPN’s Soundtracks has delivered a phrase to remember. It is quickly becoming must-watch programming every Monday night.

Ray Rice: Eagles ‘play dirty’

The Ravens’ locker room was full of frustrated players after the team’s 24-23 loss to the Eagles on Sunday. Quarterback Joe Flacco ripped the replacement referees for missing calls, and running back Ray Rice accused Philly of playing dirty.

“They play dirty. They take shots after the play, lot of dirty stuff,” Rice said after the game, according to The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson. “We weren’t going to back down, we weren’t going to take that.”

For all the late shots the Eagles took, they were only penalized seven times for 58 yards. I’d have to see examples on film of the Eagles playing dirty in order to know what Rice is talking about, but I’m guessing he wouldn’t have been complaining too much had his team won instead of blowing a 23-17 lead.

Even though Rice finished with 16 carries for 99 yards and 6 catches for 53 yards, he also could have been frustrated with his role in the game.

Rice is the Ravens’ best offensive playmaker, yet he only had 10 carries through the first three quarters, and hardly carried the ball in the third quarter. That, coupled with the team’s loss, likely explains his frustration.

Ray Rice speaks out against bullying

Ravens running back Ray Rice spoke out against bullying via his Facebook page on Tuesday, the day after a 15-year-old suspect was taken into custody for shooting a fellow student on the first day of classes at Perry Hall High School in Baltimore, Maryland.

A man identified as the suspect’s father told The Associated Press his son had been bullied. Learning that news prompted Rice to post some thoughts on his Facebook page Tuesday.

“Not related to Perry Hall directly and not advocating for or defending bullies, but when a kid shoots another kid, something is really, really wrong. Bullying or not, how does nobody notice that something is going wrong in the kid’s life? How do people stand by and do nothing? We need to start saying ‘what’s wrong?’ and do something about it before tragedy strikes! I can’t help but wonder if someone was kind to these kids if their paths would have shifted long ago and tragedies would be averted. Just makes me think…and wonder…and hope for better things.”

As The Baltimore Sun points out, the subject of bullying is meaningful to Rice. The running back spoke about it in June to thousands of people at Merriweather Post Pavilion as part of his “A Ray of Hope: A Pro-Kindness, Anti-Bullying, Teen Suicide Prevention Outreach.” In light of that, he tried leaving youngsters with a positive message Tuesday morning.

“Students…today when you go to school…Sit with someone who is alone at the lunch table, befriend the new kid in class, lend a helping hand, make it a point to be kind, and if you see something that is not quite right, say something!! You can be a HERO to someone, just by being their FRIEND!” he wrote on Facebook.

The two notes seem to have reached a wide number of people on Facebook, and hopefully even more will heed his advice. It’s the type of advice that could help not just students, but also parents, working professionals, and even other football players.

Terrell Suggs Questions Lack of Touches for Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin

The Baltimore Ravens lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars 12-7 in a pitiful performance Monday night. They only gained 16 yards by halftime, including one passing yard by Joe Flacco, and they didn’t record their first first down until under six minutes left in the third quarter. Coach John Harbaugh called the disgrace “almost as bad as you can play on offense.” Flacco said the team needs to be better even when they’re off their game. But nobody was as straightforward regarding the team’s problems as linebacker Terrell Suggs.

“It baffles me that Ray Rice only had seven carries,” Suggs said. “This is a Pro Bowl running back you’re talking about. They fed their horse. We have to feed our horse. It’s all right, just calling a spade a spade.

“When I have a Pro Bowl running back, and he’s not getting his touches, I’m going to feel some kind of way about it. He wants the ball. And I think we should feed him. Ray Rice is a phenomenal player. You have to use your phenomenal players. I have to question how many touches Anquan [Boldin] had. We’ve got guys on this team that can do some great things. We have to use those guys. It’s that simple.”

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