BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 23: Running back Bernard Pierce #30 of the Baltimore Ravens walks the endzone during warmups before playing the Jacksonville Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium on August 23, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Baltimore Ravens rookie running back Bernard Pierce looked good on the few carries he got week one against the Cincinnati Bengals. Pierce hit the hole hard and showed good patience when handed the rock.
Although he was only asked to carry the ball four times, he amassed 19 yards in the Ravens 44-13 blow-out of the division rival Bengals. Most of Pierce's carries came in mop-up duty when the game was already firmly in hand before he gave way to second year back Anthony Allen who was just re-signed by the team the day before for his special team's prowess.
The most important thing is that Pierce did not turn the ball over in his time on the field. I know it was only a few carries but sometimes a rookie will try and do too much with the limited time they have on the field and end up making costly mistakes that can set their team back and , although it will not show up on the stat sheet Pierce took several positive steps in the right direction on Monday night.The Ravens showed that they will be more of a passing team in 2012, but the ground game with Ray Rice and Pierce will still prove to be a vital part of the offense as the season goes on. During the final drives of the game when Rice was replaced by both Pierce and Allen, the team was able to run the ball at will even though the Bengals knew exactly what was coming. Again that will not show up on a stat sheet but will prove to be vital for a Baltimore team that will need these types of performances to close out games.
This is the first season that the Ravens have gone with a rookie running back as the back up to Rice since he became the every day starter for the Ravens and every time he gets the chance he shows you why the team has so much confidence in him.