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Ryan Mallett starts fast in first career start for Ravens

Ryan Mallett had a solid first half in his first start with the Ravens, going 17-of-24 for 146¬†yards and a touchdown. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

BALTIMORE -- Ryan Mallett's solid production in his first career start with the Baltimore Ravens led to a surprising first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Looking decisive and accurate, Mallett was 17-of-24 (70.8 percent) for 146 yards and one touchdown as the double-digit underdog Ravens went into halftime with a 13-3 lead. He has out-played Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who completed 7 of 12 passes for 66 yards.

Officially announced as the starter just a half hour before kickoff, Mallett completed all four of his third-down passes on for 39 yards on the Ravens' opening drive, including an 8-yard touchdown to Chris Matthews. It was Baltimore's first lead since Will Hill returned a blocked field goal for the 33-27 win at Cleveland on Nov. 30.

Mallett was the Ravens' fourth starting quarterback in their last six games. It marked Mallett's first start since an Oct. 4 game when he was with the Houston Texans.