Pierce key supplement for Ravens

Pierce key supplement for Ravens
December 24, 2012, 10:30 pm
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The more we see of Ravens rookie running back Bernard Pierce, the more he looks like yet another savvy move by the Ozzie Newsome-led front office.

Pierce turned in a 123-yard performance on Sunday, highlighted by a 78-yard sprint through the Giants defense. Taking the handoff on a draw play, Pierce followed fullback Vonta Leach through a gaping hole, made one seamless cut and was off, nearly scoring before being run out of bounds by a defensive back.

Though Ravens fans understandably want to see the ball in Ray Rice’s hands as much as possible, NFL teams don’t go exclusively with one running back anymore. Pierce spells Rice, and doesn’t provide so much a change of pace as he does a somewhat difference version. Though not physically similar — Pierce is listed at 6 feet, 218 pounds to Rice’s 5-8, 212 — they both hit the hole hard and accelerate quickly through the secondary. Neither is given to a lot of dancing around. It’s mostly one cut and go.

Pierce was taken in the third round of April’s draft by the Ravens, and he has 443 yards rushing this season, averaging 5.2 yards a carry. Of course, that average was greatly helped by his big run on Sunday. But then again, he had to have the ability to break the big run in the first place.