The Ravens have a three-point lead on the Browns through the first half. Two more solid quarters, and Baltimore will be back in the postseason for a third straight year.
Here are a few quick-hit notes on the first half:
- The Ravens are +3 in the turnover department through the first 30 minutes, and yet they're only up by three points at the half. You don't see that too often.
- Baltimore has been outgained 142-133. This when they're facing an offense with a rookie quarterback under center, an ineffective Peyton Hillis at running back, and a defense which ranks 22nd in the league. We all expected the Browns to struggle offensively and be unable to contain the Ravens when Joe Flacco and company are on the field, and surprisingly, Cleveland has hung with their division rivals in both aspects.
- More on Hillis: Ray Lewis essentially guaranteed that the Browns running back wouldn't have another performance like his 144-yard effort back in Week 3, and the Ravens have delivered on that promise so far, holding Hillis to 18 yards on seven carries. They've hit Hillis hard, gang-tackled him, and Cleveland even turned to backup running back Mike Bell for extended periods late in the half.
- Is it just me, or does it seem like every time Ed Reed takes a hit these days, he's slow to get up? Reed is clearly not 100 percent healthy, and he still makes plays (as evidenced by his interception and 20-yard return in the second quarter), but he's starting to look more and more fragile out there.
- The Ravens need David Reed back returning kickoffs. Reed, who is inactive this week after suffering a concussion last Sunday against the Saints, had provided some consistency to the kick return spot, and was settling into a rhythm. Jalen Parmele still looks uncomfortable in Reed's place, and he made a poor decision running back a kick that landed three yards deep in the end zone. Parmele was brought down at the Ravens' 10-yard line.