By Matt Vensel
9:00 AM EST, December 17, 2012
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
The Ravens lost to the Denver Broncos, 34-17, on Sunday -- their third straight loss. ... Safety Ed Reed says he is embarrassed for the entire city of Baltimore right now. ... The first game of the Jim Caldwell era produced familiar results for the Ravens offense. ... It was Peyton Manning's ninth straight win against the Ravens. ... Linebacker Terrell Suggs suited up for the game, but guard Marshal Yanda did not. ... Wide receiver Torrey Smith and running back Bernard Pierce suffered concussions in the loss. ... Despite all the doom and gloom, the Ravens clinched a playoff spot because the Pittsburgh Steelers lost. ... Mike Preston says the next few weeks will be John Harbaugh's biggest challenge yet as head coach of the Ravens.
RAVENS STUFF, BUT NOT FROM US
Another win seems improbable for the free-falling Ravens. ... Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco struggled in the loss. ... After the game, Flacco said it feels like the Ravens are 0-14. ... Jim Caldwell's offense failed its first test. ... The Ravens are in serious trouble. ... Playoffs? Don't even mention the p-word.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
The Ravens have won nine games in a row. ... The Broncos showed the Ravens how NFL defense is really played. ... The Broncos are the AFC's best team. ... Peyton Manning shrugged off another win against the Ravens. ... Denver's 45 rushing attempts were the most ever by a team quarterbacked by Manning. ... Chris Harris made it an orange Christmas with his key pick-six.
SHAMELESS PLUG OF THE DAY
Here are five things that we learned in Sunday's loss.OUTSIDE OF BALTIMORE
The San Francisco 49ers beat the New England Patriots in a wild Sunday night game. ... The Atlanta Falcons blew out and shut out the New York Giants. ... The surging Seattle Seahawks beat the Buffalo Bills. ... The Green Bay Packers clinched the NFC North. ... The Houston Texans clinched the AFC South. ... Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson carried the team to another win.
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