A week after Ray Rice rushed for a season-high 131 yards in an overtime loss to the Chicago Bears, the star running back found himself in a timeshare with backup running back Bernard Pierce in Sunday’s win.
Rice, who had been getting more than 70 percent of the offensive snaps since Week 5, played just 35 snaps in the win over the New York Jets. Pierce was right behind him with 30 snaps, his most since Week 3.
Neither runner was all that effective, though. Rice had 30 yards on 16 carries while Pierce had 30 on 11. Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor -- who played a dozen snaps, as many as fullback Vonta Leach -- had the team's longest run at 17 yards. The shared backfield probably had less to do about performance than it did with the fact that the Ravens had a rare double-digit lead late, but this situation is worth monitoring.
Here are other observations from the official snap counts:
--- Wide receiver Brandon Stokley was active for the first time since Week 3 and had one catch for seven yards. He played nine offensive snaps, one more than Tandon Doss. Torrey Smith led all Ravens wide receivers by playing all 64 snaps, followed by Marlon Brown with 43 and Jacoby Jones with 37. Deonte Thompson was inactive.
--- Nose tackle Haloti Ngata returned to the lineup after missing the loss to the Bears with a knee injury. He played less than half of the snaps, though, playing 27 out of a possible 57 defensive snaps. Backup nose tackle Terrence Cody played 21. Defensive tackle Arthur Jones played 33 snaps, defensive end Chris Canty played 24 and backup lineman DeAngelo Tyson played 14.
--- Likely because the Ravens built a big lead in the second half, strong-side linebacker Elvis Dumervil got a bump in playing time. Dumervil, who had a late sack, played 43 snaps, two more than rush linebacker Terrell Suggs. Pass rush specialist Pernell McPhee, who also had a sack, played 24. Run stuffer Courtney Upshaw played just 20.
--- The Ravens continued to split the snaps at weak-side linebacker between three players. Jameel McClain got 23 snaps. Rookie Arthur Brown got 20. Josh Bynes got 14. Meanwhile, middle linebacker Daryl Smith played every snap.
--- Ed Dickson dominated the snaps at the tight end position. He played 55 while Dallas Clark played just nine. Clark had three catches for 34 yards in those nine snaps while Dickson had three catches for 55 yards on the afternoon. Dennis Pitta practiced during the week, but he was not activated Saturday and did not suit up Sunday.
--- With the Ravens in their nickel package for more than 60 percent of the snaps, nickel cornerback Corey Graham, who had two interceptions, played 36 snaps. Fellow cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb played all 57 snaps, as did safeties James Ihedigbo and Matt Elam.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun