Quit Worrying About Ray Rice When There is Bernard Pierce

Besides the addition of veteran wide receiver Steve Smith, the Baltimore Ravens’ off-season activities have been spent in court rooms and jail cells.

Three Baltimore Ravens, including stud running back Ray Rice have been arrested since the 2013 season concluded. For those of you have been living under a rock, Rice was arraigned on felony aggravated assault charges against his wife Janay Palmer back in April.

Naturally,  the once highly anticipated fantasy football snag became a bench player for your team really fast.

Bernard Pierce will have to take his place while Rice serves his 4-6 game suspension. Pierce could easily take over the spot completely, and Ravens shouldn’t be worried about this. Fantasy wise, if you can believe it, he did better for your teams last year than Ray Rice did.

While Ray Rice’s rushing Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement was at -169, Pierce’s were a tad better at -131. Ray Rice’s success rate was at 35 percent while Pierce’s was at 38%.

Now let’s move on from the statistics nerd in me and do the numbers that we both understand shall we?

In 2012, Baltimore’s Super Bowl winning season, Ray Rice rushed for 1,143 yards and ended the season with a total of 10 touchdowns under his belt. They weren’t exactly his 2011 numbers when he had 1,364 rushing yards (also, and impressive 704 receiving yards) and 15 touchdowns.

In 2013, Rice had a measly 660 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Remember how he was the guy you and your boy fought over during your fantasy football draft? Now he’s more like the “oh you can have him” guy. Pathetic.

Whether or not Rice was guilty, innocent, or a potato, it would have been a risky move to take Ray Rice. Taking the fantasy aspect out of the equation, for you Ravens fans, it would have been difficult to depend on the 27 year-old.

Going back to Bernard Pierce, his numbers aren’t exactly phenomenal, but he did come through for the Baltimore Ravens a few times with some important runs and was a big factor in the Super Bowl win. With only 152 rushing yards and two touchdowns last season, it’s easy to see why he was the number two option behind Rice. In both of their defense, dealing with a shaky Joe Flacco couldn’t have been easy.

With that being said, and we don’t have to talk about the shoulder surgery Pierce had recently. Roto World says that new Ravens offensive coach Gary Kubiak said there are indeed similarities between Bernard Pierce and Arian Foster. That’s someone I would like to be compared to, but for now we will stick with Topanga.

When all is said and done, pending Rice’s suspension (which is pretty much guaranteed at this point) the fact of the matter is, Bernard Pierce needs to step it up. Having a veteran on the team in Steve Smith will help, but Pierce can still learn a few things from Rice.

How to treat a lady just may not be one of them.

Photo: courtesy of Forbes.com