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Pierce led the offense in rushing with 103 yards on 13 carries, including the team's longest runs of 43 and 18 yards. Rice rushed 15 times for 70 yards and although his day was marred by two lost fumbles, he also turned a short catch into a 47-yard gain that led to the Ravens' first touchdown of the game — a 2-yard rumble by fullback
With both tailbacks gaining more than 100 yards on the ground in a 33-14 rout of the New York Giants on Dec. 23, Rice and Pierce may give the offense its best two-pronged running attack since
"That's what we try to do," said Pierce, the organization's third-round pick in the
Pierce has led the team in rushing in each of the last three games, compiling 123 yards against the Giants, 89 yards against the
Pierce finished the win against Indianapolis with three straight runs that earned a first down and allowed the offense to run time off the clock. Coach
"We like both of those guys in that situation," Harbaugh said. "Bernard has earned the right to be in on those kind of situations. I like both of our backs a lot."
Rice fared decently against the Colts, adding 41 receiving yards to his day and posting his third career playoff game with at least 100 yards from scrimmage.
But he lost his first fumble since Dec. 11, 2011 when Colts defensive end
Three quarters later, safety
"I'll take both of them on the chin," Rice said of the lost fumbles. "I'm a man and obviously, I've got to be more careful in those situations where I'm trying to make a play when there's no more left there. Just as a runner, I've been doing it all year. I don't know how many touches I had — and I don't know if I want to say it — but I saved my worst game for today."
Rice said he and Pierce have a solid friendship, and he is not afraid to take himself out of a game to catch his breath and have Pierce replace him.
"There's one ball, and we all can share it," Rice said. "Today, he cracked 100. I had 100 all-purpose [yards]. If you combine the two, that's 200 yards between two backs. So that weapon going forward is really going to be key for us."
Pierce deferred to Rice as the undisputed leader of the ground game.
"It's my first year in the league. Ray, he's been here a long time," Pierce said. "I just follow in his footsteps. Anytime they put me in or whatever they need me to do, no questions asked. But Ray is the franchise player. I'm just following him around."
Nonetheless, the Ravens will benefit from a healthy rushing attack powered by Rice and Pierce, and their teammates have plenty of confidence in both tailbacks.
"Both guys are capable of making big plays," center