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Bernard Pierce responds after last week's fumble

A week after being benched, Bernard Pierce was given the majority of the carries on offense.

Rob Carr

Sure, Bernard Pierce's stats were padded near the end of Thursday night's 26-6 Ravens win over the Steelers.

But Pierce was asked to carry the load and he responded well. He finished the game with 96 yards on 22 carries, averaging 4.4 yards per rush. His final four carries, stretched out over Baltimore's final two drives, were for 38 yards of the total.

Pierce could have sulked about his situation, given after he lost a fumble against Cincinnati, he was pulled from the game and did not return. Instead, he responded, kept the ball from hitting the turf and ran hard from the moment the game opened.

Pierce knew that if he was to hold onto the starting job after this week, he'd need to show he can be counted on in the running game.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>&#39;<a href="">@BPierce_30</a>: &quot;It&#39;s nothing personal...I messed up and I just came up better the next week. Hold onto the ball.&quot;</p>&mdash; Ryan Chell (@RyanChell87) <a href="">September 12, 2014</a></blockquote>
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The Ravens struggled running the ball in the first half but were able to get things going in the third and fourth quarters. Justin Forsett scampered for a 41-yard gain in the fourth quarter, which bolstered his rushing total to 56 yards on eight carries.

This game should give Pierce the confidence needed with the Browns up ahead in a little over a week.

Follow me on Twitter: @JasonHButt