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Halftime observations

The running joke in the press box after rookie Yamon Figurs' 75-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter was that every step Figurs took was another foot out the door for B.J. Sams. Figurs has displayed the speed, the quick cuts and the field vision that convinced the Ravens to spend a third-round draft pick on him. On that return, Figurs broke four tackles en route to the end zone. A few other notes on the return:

* The return was the seventh longest in Ravens history.

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* The touchdowns by Figurs and free safety Ed Reed in the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals mark the fifth season the Ravens have returned two punts for scores.

* Reed appeared to be injured during Figurs' return, but he was back out on the ensuing defensive series.

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Running back Willis McGahee has looked impressive in the first half, but he would've looked even better if he had some time to find lanes to run through. All three of his stops behind the line of scrimmage occurred when a defender ran unimpeded into the backfield. If you take out his 37-yard gain on the fourth play of the game, McGahee has carried the ball 10 times for 24 yards.

The Cardinals replaced Matt Leinart with Kurt Warner at quarterback on their second series of the second quarter, but it wasn't injury-related as Leinart returned for the final possession before halftime. Maybe it had something to do with Leinart completing just five of 13 passes for 32 yards.

The Cardinals have not taken advantage of cornerback Samari Rolle's absence. Leinart and Warner have not thrown the football in the direction of nickel back Corey Ivy the entire half. Ivy is one of the toughest players in the league, but I would've thought that someone wearing an Arizona uniform would take a shot at him. Also, with Ivy at corner, Ronnie Prude was the nickel back.

Stover's second field goal of the game (a 28-yarder with 10:52 left in the second quarter) vaulted him past kicker Norm Johnson and into fifth place on the all-time scoring list. Stover now has 1,737 points in his career and trails John Carney, whose 1,756 points put him in fourth.

I know there's a point of emphasis among the officiating crews about excessive celebrations after a play, but the delay of game penalty on Demetrius Williams was weak. The wide receiver barely spun the football after hauling in a 26-yard alley-oop from Steve McNair. The penalty had little impact as McNair hit wide receiver Derrick Mason on a 13-yard touchdown strike near the end of the half.

But there was no debating the call on wide receiver Devard Darling for jumping into the stands after Figurs' touchdown. Two players are not allowed to jump into the stands, and Darling obviously forgot that this is not Green Bay, which is probably exempt from that penalty.


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