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
Now that the Oakland Raiders are behind them, the Ravens can look ahead to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the tough stretch of games that will follow. … Mike Preston says the Steelers can exploit the Ravens secondary. … Coach John Harbaugh praised defensive coordinator Dean Pees for making tweaks to his scheme. … Safety Ed Reed apologized for his bad day. … The Ravens were pleased with all their batted passes.
RAVENS STUFF, BUT NOT FROM US
Steelers week is Harbaugh’s favorite time of the year. … The entire season has been building to this point. … Quarterback Joe Flacco spread the ball around against the Raiders. … Tight end Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson helped him snap out of a funk. … Jah Reid stepped up for the Ravens at left guard.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
The Steelers needed overtime to beat the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night. … The win came at a steep price for the Steelers as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his throwing shoulder. … Without him, the passing game bogged down Monday. … Life without Roethlisberger could be a cold reality for the Steelers. … The Steelers released rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu, who made unwanted headlines off the field a few weeks ago.
SHAMELESS PLUG OF THE DAY
In this week’s “Tale of the Tape,” I broke down the fake field goal play the Ravens ran against the Oakland Raiders and explained what the Raiders did schematically to prompt them to run it.
OUTSIDE OF BALTIMORE
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan says he isn’t going to bench quarterback Mark Sanchez to try to save his job. … The Atlanta Falcons cut defensive end Ray Edwards. … Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson believes he can still get stronger. … Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett isn’t going to tell quarterback Tony Romo to stop freelancing. … The Denver Broncos are worried about Willis McGahee’s fumbling.