This is sheer domination.
The Ravens are up 17-0 over the Browns right now, and to be honest, I’m shocked the score is actually that close.
Here are some quick-hit notes on the first half of play:
* The Browns are awful. That coaching decision late in the second quarter to spend their last timeout with just under a minute left smelled bad to me at the time. Then they go and run the ball on third-and-goal with the clock ticking down, and don’t have enough time to either kick the field goal or run a fourth-down play. Terrible, terrible clock management.
* Here are Joe Flacco’s numbers on third downs so far today: 5-for-6 for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Yeah, that’s OK, I guess.
* I’m convinced that Peyton Hillis is the only guy on the Browns’ roster that I would want on my team right now. Hillis runs hard, is built like a tractor and is incredibly tough to bring down. He has 68 yards on 14 carries so far today. Outside of him, the Browns absolutely stink. Offensively, defensively, coaching - they’re just brutal.
* Did I mention the Browns stink?
* The injuries are starting to mount for the Ravens. Already today, middle linebacker Jameel McClain, right guard Marshal Yanda and cornerback Cary Williams have had to leave the game at one point or another. McClain (shoulder stinger) returned, but Yanda and Williams went into the locker room early for medical evaluation.
* The one thing about having Torrey Smith and Lee Evans on the field as your two wide receivers is that it gives you a speed threat that isn’t present when Anquan Boldin is starting. The Ravens have utilized that speed today, running a bunch of double moves and deep routes on the Cleveland secondary.
* The Flacco to Ray Rice touchdown pass mid-way through the second quarter was an absolute beauty. Flacco realized that Rice was matched up one-on-one with Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson (which is a mismatch), Rice ran a beautiful wheel route and Flacco hit him with a perfect touch pass. That’s just how you draw it up.
* Boy, it’s good to have Lardarius Webb back in the starting lineup. Even though he’s not 100 percent, Webb is far and away the Ravens’ top defensive back right now (yes, he’s playing at a higher level than Ed Reed), and his first quarter interception was key in getting the Ravens off to a good start.