Steelers-Ravens halftime notes

BALTIMORE—The Baltimore Ravens lead the Pittsburgh Steelers, 14-7, at intermission.

Here are some halftime observations:

  • This is the most trash talking that I’ve seen between two teams all season. When someone makes a key play, that player often wants to let the other team know about it. Among the biggest culprits for trash talking so far have been Steelers safety Tyrone Carter, Pittsburgh receiver Hines Ward, and Ravens tailback Ray Rice.

  • At times this has been an old-fashioned battle of attrition to see which team will give up the most ground. Steelers tailback Rashard Mendenhall (10 carries, 42 yards) and Rice (six carries, 34 yards) for the Ravens are running well in the first half. Both are hitting the seams quickly and aren’t afraid to get the tough yards.

  • I’ve been impressed so far with Steelers quarterback Dennis Dixon, who is making good on most of his throws. Dixon has thrown for 87 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Most importantly, Dixon doesn’t look overwhelmed by the situation, which will be key for the Steelers to have a chance in the second half.

  • Ravens receiver Derrick Mason caught the go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter over Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor. It was Mason's first touchdown against Pittsburgh in 21 career games.