A couple of weeks ago, nobody could have expected the Baltimore Ravens would be representing the AFC in Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers–but they are as they’ve pulled off three impressive wins in the playoffs. There will be numerous players looking to step it up for the Ravens on Sunday, but no player may be more of an X-Factor than rookie running back Bernard Pierce.
For a running back playing behind Ray Rice, Baltimore could not have asked for more from Pierce during his rookie season as he finished the year with 532 rushing yards to go along with one touchdown. However, Pierce should be considered the X-Factor for Sunday not based off what he’s accomplished during the regular season, but the playoffs for the Ravens.
In three playoff games, Pierce has recorded 169 yards on just 27 carries–which is an average of over six yards per carry. The 49ers’ defense is one of the best when it comes to stopping the run and will be focusing most of their attention on shutting Rice down–which give Pierce the perfect opportunity to put up big numbers once again.
Baltimore may be on a hot streak as of late, but they enter Sunday’s game as underdogs and will face a very tough San Francisco defense looking to give the franchise their sixth Super Bowl. Joe Flacco has been nothing short of phenomenal during the postseason, but others will need to step it up on offense–which is why the Ravens could be looking to Pierce for a big game.