In what was an extremely tight vote, Ravens running back Ray Rice was selected as the team’s 2011 Most Valuable Player, as voted on by members of the media that cover the team on a everyday basis, according to Don Kolko of MASNSports.com.
Rice, 24, finished the regular season ranking first in the NFL with 2,068 yards from scrimmage. His 1,364 rushing yards were good for second in the league, while his 704 receiving yards were second among all running backs. Rice’s 15 total touchdowns broke Jamal Lewis’ franchise record of 14 set in 2003.
“The fourth-year running back actually trailed in the MVP voting going into the final week of the regular season, but after his 191-yard, two-touchdown performance in the Ravens’ Week 17 win over the Bengals, Rice overtook linebacker Terrell Suggs, who previously held the edge for the award,” Kolko writes.
Suggs finished the season with a career-high 14 sacks and led the NFL with seven forced fumbles.
If I had a vote, I would have voted for Rice, but I don’t think you could have gone wrong either way. While Suggs had a colossal season and is a front-runner for the Defensive Player of the Year Award, I strongly believe the Ravens’ offense would have been in complete shambles without Rice, while the defense would have been able to manage without Suggs.