Bernard Pierce is back healthy, but Justin Forsett remains the lead dog.
There's been chatter around Baltimore as to who the Ravens' top running back is in their strong rushing game. On Sunday in Tampa Bay, Forsett took another step in proving he's the guy.
Forsett and the now healthy Pierce split the carries – Forsett got 14 and Pierce had 15. But Forsett took his for 111 yards (7.9 yard average), and Pierce totaled 32 yards (2.1 average) and a touchdown on his attempts.
Forsett got his fourth straight start, and kick-started the Ravens offense with a 52-yard jaunt on their second play of the game.
"It did set the pace," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "It was a statement – no question – about the running game, because I know it was important for [Tampa] to stop the run. Justin reads so well. He reads the scheme really well. He's got great vision, is very elusive and hard to tackle. Nobody works harder. He's one heck of a football player."
Forsett, who still leads the NFL in average yards per carry (6.4), hadn't logged a 100-yard game since 2009, his second year in the league when he was with the Seattle Seahawks. He put up two 100-plus yard games that season.
Forsett is fifth in the NFL with 408 rushing yards, trailing only Dallas' DeMarco Murray, Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell, Houston's Arian Foster and Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy.
"We've been chomping at the bit to get to that [100-yard] mark this season and it's just a blessing," Forsett said. "I thank God for the opportunity to just come out here play and actually run the ball. The offensive line did a heck of a job, and we got it today."
While Pierce didn't have the same success, per carry, as Forsett on Sunday, Pierce did have an impressive 4-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, in which he lowered his pads and knocked back Bucs hard-hitting safety Mark Barron.
Pierce will continue to be an important part of the Ravens' running game. He did get four carries in the first quarter, including an entire drive, as Baltimore tried to work him more into the mix.
"I would like to get Bernard in there as much as possible," Harbaugh said. "I think he's an explosive back. And it's like anything else, you earn your next challenge, right? And the better guys play, the more opportunities they're going to get. And he did a good job."
Forsett had extra motivation Sunday in Tampa Bay. The Florida native dedicated the game to his ailing grandmoster, Louise Williams, who is fighting Alzheimer's disease. Forsett said he knew she was watching the game.
"I had a lot of family members here, so it was good to be able to put on a show," Forsett said
"I was able to get off the plane and go down to visit my grandma. She's diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and I wanted to dedicate this game to her. I'm keeping her in my mind and in my heart."