Ravens-Steelers halftime notes

PITTSBURGH--The Baltimore Ravens lead the Pittsburgh Steelers, 10-7, at intermission.

Here are some notes an observations:

  • Baltimore tailback Ray Rice (knee) is active but didn't start with a knee injury. Backup Willis McGahee is getting most of the playing time, with Rice being used sparingly. The Ravens do not appear confident enough in Rice's health to make him the feature back. McGahee has rushed for 34 yards on 11 attempts while Rice has just two attempts for three yards.

  • Pittsburgh's pass protection is not nearly as good as it was last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Quarterback Charlie Batch doesn't have a lot of time in the pocket against Baltimore. He's been sacked once but already had to scramble several times for short gains to get out of trouble.

  • You can tell the difference in tempo each team is trying to set in this game. Baltimore's offense is very quick-hitting and trying to utilize the short and intermediate passing game to open things up. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, often is running down the play clock to the final seconds before running the play to shorten the game.

  • The Steelers are having a hard time blocking Ravens Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. He already has six tackles and a sack on Batch in the first half. Ngata also had an impressive hit on Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall in the second quarter.