Every morning, Monday through Friday, blogger Matt Vensel will hook you up with reading material -- mostly on the Ravens but with some other Baltimore sports stuff, too -- to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday. That way he’ll have an excuse to do the same to start his workday, too.
RUNNING IT BACK
Their struggles against the pass are a concern, but the Ravens defense has at least done well at stopping the run the past three games. … The Ravens are at full strength as they prepare to play the Kansas City Chiefs. … The Ravens are planning as if quarterback Matt Cassell will be under center Sunday. … Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali says Ray Rice talks a lot of trash. … Joe Flacco and the Ravens are impressed with the Orioles.
RAVENS STUFF, BUT NOT FROM US
Joe Flacco is making a case for MVP. ... Baltimore passing game is all about balance. … Ed Reed wants to be a coach when he is done playing. … Ray Lewis does not plan on playing football long enough to maybe get a chance to tackle his son. … Terrell Suggs is getting some ink on TV. ... Does Terrence Cody look fat in this?
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
Cassel says he isn’t looking over his shoulder and the embattled quarterback’s backup, Brady Quinn, says his role hasn’t changed. … Cassel is running out supporters and some are already looking ahead to the draft for his replacement. … Hey, at least Kansas City still has really good barbeque. … The Chiefs put tight end Kevin Boss on injured reserve on Wednesday. … Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers missed practice with a heel injury.
SHAMELESS PLUG(S) OF THE DAY
Here is this week’s “Five Ravens stats that stand out,” including a stat on cornerback Lardarius Webb’s dominance in the slot.
AWAY FROM THE GRIDIRON
The Orioles lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in their regular season finale on Wednesday night. … The Orioles finished second in the A.L. East and claimed the second wild card spot, which means they will travel to Texas to play a one-game playoff against the Rangers on Friday night. … Peter Schmuck wonders if the Orioles have used up all of their magic. … Maryland men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon had lunch with the fabled Harrison twins.