Last season, Bernard Pierce was one of the bigger surprises for the Baltimore Ravens as the third round draft pick out of Temple really grabbed a hold of the number two running back spot and became a huge contributor as the counter punch to Ray Rice. This season a two headed rushing monster will help lead the Ravens offense in more ways than one.
We will begin with the obvious contribution to this offense by the two headed rushing monster in Pierce and Rice, and that is the fact they will be able to run the ball effectively. Last season we saw the two combine for 1,675 rushing yards with 10 rushing touchdowns and we would expect those two numbers to increase this season.
By running the ball effectively, Pierce and Rice are going to enable Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell to be able to use the play action as a dangerous weapon for quarterback Joe Flacco. Baltimore is down at the wide receiver position and the ability to run an effective play action will not only help out Flacco, but it will help these receivers who may not be able to get as open as others.
We did not see it very often last year, but it is expected to be a more realistic option this season to see both Pierce and Rice on the field at the same time. Caldwell now knows that he has two legitimate running backs that can pound the rock and with Rice’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, Caldwell can get very imaginative with the offense.
Lastly, and perhaps the most indirect contribution of the two headed rushing monster will be their ability to extend drives and keep their defense off of the field. With Rice and Pierce running the ball effectively, it will keep the clock moving and keep the defense off of the field. The Ravens defense is younger and faster than last year, but anytime you can give your defense more rest it is going to be extremely beneficial for the team.
Training camp is literally right around the corner for the Ravens and football is almost here. Rice and Pierce will be a fun tandem to watch as they look to become the best 1-2 punch among running backs in all of football.
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