Was there any doubt that we would go back to “Play Like a Ray Rice” this week? Mighty Mouse could have been in Jamal Lewis/Adrian Peterson territory, had he played the entire game. Twenty-seven racked up 219 yards on 17 touches, a ridiculous 12.9 yards per. He unfortunately fumbled in the red zone for the second week in a row though, after not fumbling for nearly two full seasons – both were in terrible weather, but still, it’s something to keep an eye on moving forward.
Without further adieu, this week’s Play Like Ray Rice is…..
Played Like a Raven – Derrick Mason
Reader Matt suggested the 2008 Draft Class here, as Rice, Joe Flacco, Tom Zbikowski, and Oniel Cousins all had strong days. Tough to argue with that, but I decided to go the other way – rather than honoring the young guys, I’ll give this week’s honors to the oldest guy on the team. The game was hardly a rout early, as the Ravens led just 3-0 after the first quarter, and a missed 45 yard FG by Jason Hanson was the only reason they were winning at all. Mason, though, got the ball rolling for good. He ran a slant on 3rd-and-2, kept his footing despite being sandwiched by two Lions’ defenders, and sprinted 62 yards to the end zone for the first of 6 B’More touchdowns on the day. It was Derrick’s 2nd-longest reception on the year, and one of the more unique plays that I can remember witnessing.
His 5 catches led the team (ho hum, nothing new there), and he needs just 53 yards per game over the season’s final three weeks to eclipse the 1000-yard mark for the 3rd consecutive season, and 8th time in the last 9 years. His first catch this Sunday against Chicago will be the 850th of his career, and his 3rd will move him ahead of Irving Fryer for #15 all-time.
Did Not Play Like a Raven – Troy Smith
This one might be a little misleading. While Smith’s PLAY was just fine – 2/3 passing, 10 yards, 2 rushes, 14 yards, 1 TD in mop-up duty – the way he conducted himself WAS NOT. In the fourth quarter, when his 15 yard naked bootleg run put the Ravens up 48-3, Smith broke into a ridiculous “Look What I Just Did” dance in the end zone.
Now, I’m not one to hate on players celebrating. I love when Kelley Washington breaks it down. Chad Ocho Cinco cracks me up. I HATE that the league banned team celebrations. And I can’t stand it that Ocho Cinco gets fined more for putting on a sombrero for 10 seconds than Brady Quinn does for endangering Terrell Suggs’ career. The NO FUN LEAGUE stuff is ridiculous.
But, so is dancing around like a fool when your team is winning 48-3. Come…on…man.
The dance served no purpose but to show up a Detroit team that could have obviously not cared less at that point, and Smith should have gotten an earful from his coaches for it.
Despite not fitting the NFL’s strange definition of “unsportsmanlike conduct,” Smith’s actions late in Sunday’s game were what any rational fan would certainly consider unsportsmanlike.
Hopefully, the Ravens win their last three games in similar blowout-fashion, and #10 gets to see some more garbage time burn as a result. If so, let’s also hope he got whatever the heck that dance was out of his system for good.