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John Harbaugh still wants Bernard Pierce to start

Even after Justin Forsett rushed for 70 yards on 11 carries in week one, the Baltimore Ravens still want third-year man Bernard Pierce to take over as the starting running back.

Patrick Smith

Justin Forsett was fantastic in his minimal playing time last week. Bernard Pierce wasn't. Forsett rushed for 70 yards on 11 carries, which makes up to a 6.3 yards-per-carry average. Pierce rushed for 14 yards on six carries, 2.3 yards per rush, and he was removed from the game at halftime after fumbling the ball towards the end of the second quarter.

It's clear that Forsett did the better job last week. And although you can't put too much into one week, Pierce's average last year was 2.9 yards-per-carry, which is not very good. If his poor play has indeed carried into the 2014 season as it was indicated in week one, then Pierce should absolutely not get this spot.

In fact, if Pierce continues his sluggish play, then he doesn't even deserve to be the backup running back. That job should go to rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro, who failed to receive a shot in week one against the Bengals.

After leading the league in rushing yards in the preseason, the 6-foot, 226 pound running back out of Coastal Carolina certainly deserves to get an opportunity. Expect him to hear his number called a number of times in the coming weeks.

However, the starting battle is essentially between Bernard Pierce and Justin Forsett and fans would like to see Forsett out there, but that may not be the case.

Ravens' head coach John Harbaugh stated that both players will get a lot of playing time.

"You don’t lose faith in a player because of a bad play," Harbaugh said. "Bernard is still on his way to becoming, I would say, a very good player, and I’ve been saying that all along. I have the utmost confidence in him."

What the Ravens will do for the rest of the season is simply go with the hot hand. Whether it would be Pierce, Forsett, or even Taliaferro, whoever performs the best will be rewarded with the most carries. Since Ray Rice got cut a few days ago, everyone around Baltimore has speculated as to who will receive the bulk of the carries, and people will continue to do so.