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 might not be able to afford a trio of young players who stepped up this season -- linebacker Paul Kruger, cornerback Cary Williams and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. ... With John Harbaugh's Ravens and Jim Harbaugh's San Francisco 49ers now in their respective conference championship games, the stage is set for a potential Harbaugh Bowl. ... Are the Ravens benefiting from some kind of "Ray Lewis Effect?"

RAVENS STUFF, BUT NOT FROM US

The Ravens are seeking redemption against the New England Patriots. ... The Ravens might be the most dangerous team left in the playoffs. ... Brian Billick says that Joe Flacco was one of a few quarterbacks who stepped it up in these playoffs. ... Flacco's playoff success stacks up with the best. ... Linebacker Terrell Suggs is heating up at the right time.

BEHIND ENEMY LINES

The Ravens and Patriots have changed since their Week 3 meeting. ... Even without injured tight end Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots are the most complete team left. ... New England's young running backs are playing like veterans. ... The no-huddle offense is a lot for opponents to handle. ... The Ravens weren't the only team that struggled on special teams last weekend.

SHAMELESS PLUG OF THE DAY

For this week's Tale of the Tape, I broke down Flacco's touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones. I mean seriously, what else would I pick?

OUTSIDE OF BALTIMORE

The San Diego Chargers hired Mike McCoy to be their next head coach. ... The Chicago Bears hired Marc Trestman to be their next head coach. ... Might the Philadelphia Eagles hire Gus Bradley to be their next head coach? ... Are the Jacksonville Jaguars waiting to hire 49ers coordinator Greg Roman to be their next head coach? ... The Pittsburgh Steelers have issues at wide receiver.