Blog & Tackle: Seven points on the first half

January 10, 2009 | Chris Pika

Seven points on the first half between the Ravens and the Titans, since we have a 7-7 tie:

1. The slugfest turned personal in the first half as both teams have seen field position impacted by 13 combined accepted penalties for 104 yards. Luckily for the Ravens, only four have gone against them for 25 yards. Tennessee has been uncharacteristically undisciplined. But, the Ravens can’t get caught up in the extra-curricular activities.

2. There have been a lot of Ravens bodies on the turf or seen by the trainers and doctors on the sideline in the first half. Baltimore has overcome a lot of injuries during the season to win, and today will have to be the same way.

3. Tennessee QB Kerry Collins has been exceptional in the first half. His offensive line has given him extremely good protection, with just one Ravens sack. The interception was on a rookie mistake by a veteran – throwing the ball off the back foot. Otherwise, he has found every seam in the Ravens’ defense.

4. Tennessee is really missing Kevin Mawae at center. Two bad snaps almost cost the Titans a turnover and field position.

5. Joe Flacco has been good, not great in the first half. He’s thrown only eight passes, and the three completions included a huge 48-yard bomb to Derrick Mason (who had all three receptions in the half) for a score in the first quarter. He almost was intercepted when he tried to throw across the field on a busted play. The eight-play, 80-yard drive for the score was impressive, especially with how Tennessee has played on defense.

6. The Ravens offense had better find a way to tackle in the open field. Chris Johnson has found holes in the aggressive Ravens defense to pick up extra yards. It’s not enough to hammer the ballcarrier at the line of scrimmage.

7. Lastly, Tennessee has 256 total yards to Baltimore’s 95, and the Titans has had the ball for 18:47.

Bonus point: Tennessee has two turnovers, but the Ravens were not able to capitalize on either mistake. How many chances will the Ravens get in the second half? I smell overtime in this one.