We here at Stripehype have spent the last few weeks covering some of the individual players from the Bengals who will have a big impact on how the team plays this year, guys who are key to the success, or failure of the team. There is another group who will have some bearing on Cincinnati’s final record as well, and that’s the members of the other teams. The non-divisional opponents, of course, change year-to-year, but six games in each season are against the same three teams: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers. In an effort to know the opponent, I’ll discuss some of the key players from those teams.
Rice was drafted out of Rutgers in the 2nd round of the 2008 draft. After a year as the backup, he took the starter’s job, and despite his diminutive size, has become one of the best RBs in the NFL. A dual threat, he has the ability to beat teams on the ground or via catching the ball. In 60 career games, Rice has nearly 4,400 yards rushing with 24 touchdowns, as well as an additional 2,200 yards receiving with 5 TDs. He’s exceeded 2,000 total yards in each of the last three years. He has also had some big games against the Bengals, including the final game of 2011, when he rushed for 191 yards and two TDs. He also had another 100 yard, 2 TD effort in their first matchup last year. Rice has an impressive combination of strength and speed that enables him to be effective in a number of ways. If the Bengals are going to find some success against the Ravens in 2012, they must contend with Rice, and figure out a way to slow him down.