Ravens halftime notes

The Baltimore Ravens lead the New England Patriots 24-7 at intermission.

Here are some halftime observations:

  • Baltimore is a notoriously slow-starting team. But this was the best start the Ravens had all season. An 83-yard touchdown run by Ray Rice ignited the team, and three early turnovers forced by the defense gave Baltimore a 24-0 lead. The Ravens are not a team that blows big leads. So it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the second half.

  • At this rate, consider this a coming-out party for Rice. In front of a national audience, the first-time Pro Bowler is putting his best foot forward in a huge playoff game. Rice is breaking the first tackle on most runs and has 109 yards rushing and two touchdowns in the first half.

  • Not challenging the muffed punt was a bad decision by Ravens coach John Harbaugh. New England's Kyle Arrington recovered the ball, but appeared to lose control as he was falling out of bounds. The play led to New England’s only touchdown of the first half.

  • Patriots quarterback Tom Brady does not look comfortable in the pocket. The Ravens are getting solid pressure against New England, and Brady is making rushed decisions, including his two interceptions. The Ravens have two sacks and two additional hits on the quarterback. They need to keep the pressure going to hold the lead in the second half.