Steelers-Ravens halftime notes

BALTIMORE, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens lead the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-7 at halftime.

Here are some notes at intermission:

  • Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is ready for this game. He made some of the best throws in the first half that I've seen from him in four seasons. The first was a 27-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin against good coverage by Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden. The other was a throw down the seam to tight end Ed Dickson, although it was called back because of a holding penalty. Flacco completed his first six passes in the game and looks in control.

  • Baltimore is bringing a lot of extra linebackers and defensive backs on the blitz. The Steelers are countering with delayed runs and draws that are working. Pittsburgh tailback Rashard Mendenhall has 44 yards on eight carries.

  • Ravens running back Ray Rice has fresh legs and is running well. Rice usually struggles against Pittsburgh but has 89 rushing yards and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the first half. His first run of 36 yards up the left sideline was started by a good kickout block by offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie.

  • Ravens rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith injured his ankle on the opening kickoff and didn't return in the first half. His return is questionable. Steelers middle linebacker James Farrior also is sidelined. But no injury was reported. Farrior started the game and it’s unknown if it was a coach's decision or injury to sub him for Larry Foote.