Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice suffered what was a hip flexor strain in last Sunday’s 14-6 win against the Cleveland Browns. Bernard Pierce stepped up to the plate and did well in relief, although he was getting carries before Rice went down. Rice is currently listed as day-to-day, and it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to play against the Houston Texans this Sunday. No matter the case, Pierce needs to put on his big boy pants and step up to the plate in this crucial game.
The Texans have been a bad matchup for the Ravens for the last few years; last year, the Texans beat the Ravens 43-13. The Ravens couldn’t get the running game going, and as a result, QB Joe Flacco was running for his life the whole game. There’s no telling how effective a banged up Rice can be against one of the better front sevens in the league. Pierce is definitely more of the banger back (the guy who could wear down the linemen and linebackers and slow down the pass rush).
The Ravens rushing attack hasn’t been up to par in the first two games. This needs to improve if the Ravens have any hopes of beating the Texans this Sunday. In what will be a huge early season swing game, the pressure will be on Pierce. Personally, I’m expecting a good, not great, game from Pierce; maybe something like 15 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown. Either way, Pierce and the Ravens will have their hands full on Sunday.
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