The drought comes to an end

The Ravens had gone five long games without scoring a second half offensive touchdown.

A botched onside kick helped change all that.

Coming out of the locker room at halftime trailing 13-10, Browns coach Eric Mangini decided to go for a quick change in momentum, and had kicker Phil Dawson attempt an onside kick.

Had it been executed properly, the strategy might have worked. Cornerback Cary Williams was the only Raven lined up at the 40-yard line near the Ravens' sideline, and he took a couple steps backward as the ball was first kicked. The Browns had three players in that area, and had a shot to push Williams out of the way and recover the loose ball.

But Dawson's kick failed to travel the requisite 10 yards. It spun out of bounds, and the Ravens got incredible field possession at the Browns' 38.

Three plays later, Joe Flacco hit Derrick Mason on a 22-yard touchdown pass, and Baltimore had finally reached paydirt in the second half.

The Ravens suddenly had a comfortable 10-point lead, and the drought was over.

From there, we saw more of the same second half struggles that have become the norm lately.

On their next three possessions, the Ravens went three-and-out, turned the ball over, and then had to punt yet again.

Baltimore's final drive of the game was effective in that it milked over four minutes off the clock and gave left only 22 seconds for Cleveland to mount one last gasp effort. That was a plus.

Outside of the 38-yard scoring drive, there wasn't much in the second half to be proud of from an offensive standpoint.

But I guess we'll enjoy the early-third quarter TD for now. Baby steps, folks. Baby steps.

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