The Baltimore Ravens are sitting pretty atop the AFC North at 9-3 this season, but they're not immune to criticism.
As his 1,281 total yards and eight touchdowns prove, Rice undoubtedly is a key part of what the Ravens do. But there have been games when Rice has been lost in the game plan. An example came in last Sunday's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, when Rice finished with just 13 touches.
Rice spoke with NFL.com's Albert Breer on Friday about his role in the Ravens' offense.
"You want the touches as a running back, you want it," Rice told Breer ahead of the Ravens' Sunday matchup against the Washington Redskins. "But at the same time, you see situational football. If we had executed a little better, executed on third down, I know my touches would've came."
In nine Ravens wins this season, Rice has averaged 22 touches per game. In three losses, that figure drops to just above 16. Rice's 13 touches Sunday tied a season low and was one of six games in which he finished with less than 20 touches combined.
"The magic number always for me is to try to get between 20 to 25 touches," Rice said. "Obviously we fell short of that. It was promising ... the way I ran the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense. Going forward, that's something positive to look at."
You have to applaud Rice's attitude, which reveals him to be a team-first player. That said, Rice is the best player the Ravens have on offense. Give him the ball.
Follow Albert Breer on Twitter @AlbertBreer.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.