Monday, November 16, 2009
Ravens-Browns halftime notes
By James Walker
CLEVELAND -- The Browns and Baltimore Ravens remain scoreless at intermission.
Here are some halftime observations:
- The Browns are playing better than expected defensively. They are getting to the quarterback with two sacks and putting Baltimore in tough situations. It’s clear at this juncture that Cleveland’s defense is the stronger half of this team.
- I’m surprised the Ravens could not establish themselves as the dominant team early in this game. Baltimore looks flat, particularly on offense. This is a must-win game for the Ravens, but the undermanned Browns are playing with more zeal behind their home crowd.
- It’s hard to get a read on Cleveland starting quarterback Brady Quinn. He made a few good throws in addition to some awful throws. I would classify his performance so far as "average" and "nothing spectacular." The offensive play calling is still very conservative with Quinn under center. He is 6 of 12 for 63 yards.
- The Ravens are going to Willis McGahee and Le'Ron McClain more than they have in recent weeks. Baltimore's coaching staff must feel this is the type of physical, division game late in the year that those two can do the most damage. The pair have combined for six carries to 16 yards and an addition 17 yards receiving from McClain.
- Oddity of the night: The Ravens were penalized twice for having 12 men on the field in the first half. That’s not very sharp. Overall this wasn't a very exciting half of football. There is no flow to this game and a lot of penalties on both sides.