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
On Sunday, the Ravens face a familiar foe in Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer, who tormented them when he was with the Cincinnati Bengals. … Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said that injuries are limiting his effectiveness. … Ngata and three other starters sat out practice for a second straight day. … Defensive coordinator Dean Pees explained why he has moved upstairs during games. … Quarterback Joe Flacco needs to be more efficient. … Mike Preston says the Raiders are the last creampuff on the schedule.
RAVENS STUFF, BUT NOT FROM US
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said that third-down conversions are a critical issue that the team must address. … Linebacker Terrell Suggs was selected as the team’s Ed Block Courage Award winner this year. … The Ravens say that Palmer can still make all the throws. … The Ravens might have a strong 1-2 punch in running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
Raiders running back Taiwan Jones is expected to get an increased workload with Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson expected to miss Sunday’s game. … Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour is now expected to sit out, too. … Raiders linebacker Aaron Curry will bring energy and passion to the field Sunday, his first game of the season. … After getting gouged last weekend, the Raiders run defense now has to worry about Rice.
SHAMELESS PLUG OF THE DAY
I wrote 1,200 words about two speakers and a green dot.
OUTSIDE OF BALTIMORE
The Indianapolis Colts easily beat the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night. … Nerve damage has made it hard for Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson to grip the football the past few weeks. … Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin is off crutches but he probably won’t play Sunday. … Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller plans to sack Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton then do his signature Superman celebration. … Other teams think the Philadelphia Eagles defense is soft. … The Buffalo Bills say they want to draft a quarterback this spring.