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Can the Ravens bottle lightning?

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The first half of the Browns - Ravens contest were something you could have missed without actually missing anything. A couple of sacks, a bad Joe Flacco interception and a lapse in coverage allowing a Browns touchdown. Big deal, that’s normal. But the second half demonstrated the possibilities of Baltimore’s skilled offense.

A grind ‘em down drive filled with Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon. Only three passing plays while the run game road grated defenders. Finishing the drive with the first Breshad Perriman touchdown. The youth movement clearly happened last night. Stanley blocking, T-West and Dixon running, Breshad catching. All things Ravens fans may continue to enjoy for years to come.

This second half could be the momentum Baltimore needs to lock down a divisional title. Right now they are a half-game above the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team clearly not at 100%. Ben Roethlisberger couldn’t finish a drive until the Ravens were two scores above. Meanwhile, the Bengals aren’t showing they’re complete, or at least not as strong compared to seasons prior. And the Browns are 0-10, benching their QB when he played well.

Clearly the defense is formidable, but if Baltimore can sustain their second half against actual NFL caliber squads they could command respect. No doubt it will be difficult, but it will be necessary to succeed on this gauntlet of a back-half schedule.