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1st-half thoughts: Hey, we’ll take it

Posted Sep 15, 2013

Browns Senior Editor Vic Carucci gives his thoughts on the first half of today’s game against the Ravens.

BALTIMORE -- Here are my first-half thoughts from the Browns’ game against the Ravens Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium:

>>No offense, but leading isn’t offensive. The Browns’ offense continues to stall. Brandon Weeden did connect on a 53-yard pass to Jordan Cameron to set up a field goal, but otherwise, the passing game has been ineffective. Billy Cundiff’s leg has provided all of the game’s scoring with a pair of field goals. Given how well the Browns’ defense has done in stifling the Ravens’ offense, it would be nice to see more offensive production by Weeden and company. However, holding a 6-0 halftime lead against the defending Super Bowl champions who are playing their home-opener is an accomplishment. So far, the Browns are spoiling a big celebration that the Ravens anticipated having at their expense. If the defense can force some turnovers, who knows what might happen in the second half?

>>Striving to achieve offensive balance. The Browns are showing a much greater commitment to the run than they did against the Dolphins. Trent Richardson isn’t having tremendous success, averaging only 3.1 yards on 11 carries, but the legitimate threat of him carrying the ball is helping to keep the Ravens’ defense honest.

>>Barkevious Mingo’s impressive debut. On his first NFL snap, Mingo got a sack. He also has done a nice job of blocking on the punt-return team. Mingo managed to draw a holding penalty on a return late in the half.

>>Booming through the end zone. Cundiff is showing exactly why the Browns signed him to be their kicker by sending a pair of kickoffs through the end zone. The Browns place more value in that than in field-goal accuracy. And Cundiff has been good in that area, too, hitting his both of his attempts (from 51 and 21 yards) so far. Also, Cundiff, a former Raven, is having a solid game while being booed by the fans.

>>Pass-protection issues continue. The Browns have done little to improve their woeful pass protection against Miami. The Ravens have been able to generate steady pressure on Weeden. The right side of the Browns’ line continues to be where the biggest leaks are located.

>>Too many penalties. The Browns have continually hurt themselves with penalties, with three for minus-23 yards in the half. They must play smarter and with far more discipline. Having an aggressive, physical attitude is a good thing, but this team isn’t good enough to keep shooting itself in the foot.

>>Carucci’s Call is presented by Revol Wireless.

>>Come Save With Us>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, for Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Fordon ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci or by e-mail at daily@clevelandbrowns.com or by calling 855-363-2459.