There was no single star in today’s 33-31 victory over the Ravens, but it’s tough to point to a player who had a better game than WR Sidney Rice. Against a nasty Ravens defense, Rice earned his first career 100-yard receiving game.
Rice’s 176 receiving yards ranks as the 9th most in team history for single game, and is the most any Vikings receiver has gained against the Ravens.
The 6-4 receiver had 6 grabs on the day, but perhaps to catch was more important than his 58-yarder late in the 4th quarter that set up Ryan Longwell’s game-winning FG.
On the play, the Vikings faced a 2nd and 6 from their own 24-yardline with just under 3 minutes to play and trailing 31-30. Favre took the snap, run-faked to the left and then rolled out on a naked bootleg to the right. Rice changed his route mid-play and ran a fly pattern down the right sideline. Favre saw Rice streaking, pump faked a few times to allow Rice time to get down the field and then launched a pass in Rice’s direction. Rice located the ball in the air, ran under it and hauled in the catch, in spite of a pass interference penalty.
The result was a 58-yard gain that advanced the Vikings from their own 24-yardline to the Ravens 18 and allowed Longwell to hit the eventual game-winning FG 3 plays later.
Rice has been an emerging player for the Vikings all season and he took another step in that direction today.
“When he got here a couple years ago, he was twenty years old,” Vikings G Steve Hutchinson said. “He’s really matured as a player. He understands what this offense needs out of him.”
Tags: Sidney Rice, Steve Hutchinson
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