Sunday, November 1, 2009
Broncos-Ravens halftime notes
By James Walker
Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker
BALTIMORE—The Ravens lead the Denver Broncos, 6-0, at intermission.
Here are some halftime notes and observations:
- The Ravens are using a variation of the no-huddle offense in an attempt to set the pace against Denver’s tough defense. For the most part, it was unsuccessful as Denver's speed was prepared for the quick snaps and play calling. The Ravens have 103 total yards of offense in the first half.
- For the most part, Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton looks rattled and uncomfortable in the pocket. Baltimore’s pass rush, which has struggled this season, is getting pressure on Orton, and the hits are impacting his performance. Orton looks rushed in his progressions and isn’t making the same quality of throws he’s made all season. He’s thrown for just 35 yards in the first half.
- Baltimore receiver Derrick Mason was a victim of a bad no-call that could have led to a first down in the first quarter. Broncos rookie cornerback Alphonso Smith grabbed Mason’s jersey, which wasn’t caught by the refs. But Mason compounded the issue by losing his temper and costing the Ravens 15 yards.
- After reviewing the tape for two weeks, the Ravens decided to make cornerback Frank Walker inactive. As expected, rookie cornerback Lardarius Webb played several snaps in the first half in sub packages. But it was interesting to see which cornerback got the boot, and it turned out to be Walker.
- The Broncos have been a great second-half team and it’s one reason they are undefeated. It will be interesting to see how Denver responds after intermission in front of a raucous crowd at M&T Bank Stadium. In other Broncos notes, starting right tackle Ryan Harris suffered a toe injury in the first half and his return is doubtful.