We knew the Texans were a pesky bunch, and they've proved that through the first 30 minutes.
Playing without Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson and Pro Bowl defensive end Mario Williams, Houston is hanging with the Ravens, and they trail Baltimore just 10-7 at the break.
Here are a few quick-hit notes on the first half of play:
* If you needed another example of how much Ray Lewis has dominated the game over the course of his 16-year career, here you go: With his first quarter sack of Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, Lewis is now the first player in NFL history to have recorded at least 40 sacks and 30 interceptions. Lewis is up to 40.5 sacks and 31 interceptions in his career. Pretty impressive stuff.
* Joe Flacco came out of the gates on fire, going 7-of-8 for 82 yards on the Ravens' opening drive. After that series, however, Houston's pass defense tightened up, and Flacco went just 4-of-11 for 45 yards and an interception the rest of the half. The pick was a tough one; if Flacco had connected with a wide open Ed Dickson, the Ravens would have been in position to tack on at least a field goal just before the half.
* Even without Williams, Houston has been in Flacco's grill all afternoon, with constant pressure being applied off the edges. Connor Barwin, Brian Cushing, Tim Jamison and company have outworked the guys on the Baltimore offensive line and have knocked Flacco around pretty good.
* You've got to respect the work put in by safety Haruki Nakamura, who was back on the field today after missing just one game with a PCL strain in his knee. Nakamura rehabbed incredibly hard during the Ravens' bye week, and was able to return to action just two weeks after suffering the injury. If a coach could have a team made up of 53 Haruki Nakamuras, he would. You'd just have to coach the other 52 how to play a new position.
* Here's Ray Rice's first half: eight carries, 16 yards; four receptions, 49 yards. Interesting.
* Coming into today, Vonta Leach had just three carries over the course of his eight-year career. Today, the Ravens' fullback has two carries and a kickoff return which came on a squib kick. Not a bad day's work.