Ray Rice didn't expect ball on magic fourth-down play


The Baltimore Ravens are 9-2 and have Ray Rice to thank for it.

His 30-yard catch-and-dash on fourth-and-29 was the play of the day and propelled the Ravens to an overtime win against the San Diego Chargers to remain just one game behind the Houston Texans for the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

"It's one of those defining moments," Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports. "It's one of those moments when you know what you have as a team. Everybody was digging down deep."

Rice, of course, wasn't the primary target on the play.

"I was the check-down guy," he told SI.com's Peter King. "I didn't expect Joe to come to me. ... I saw the yard marker, so I knew how far it was. I just knew somehow I had to get there. And when I took off, I saw them over-pursuing me, so I cut to the left. I think I must have found another gear. And then I got that great block from Anquan (Boldin)."

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Don't expect a more detailed account. What Rice did Sunday can't be taught or over-analyzed. Rice, like the best at his position, operates on instinct.

Rice told King he ignored the chatter and speculation while game officials pored over replays of the spot. Rice had done his part and already knew the result, and the Ravens are sitting pretty because of it.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.