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.
On Tuesday, someone from the Bovada sportsbook sent me over some interesting Ravens prop bets. Now I'm not encouraging gambling, but it is fun to talk about over/unders. So if we are betting just jellybeans here, I like these three prop bets -- but if these shoddy predictions cost you, please don't come and break my legs.
Joe Flacco 2012 passing yards (3,500): I would definitely take the over here. Flacco has topped 3,600 passing yards in each of the past three seasons. He had a career-high 542 pass attempts last season, and with all of the talk of the Ravens opening up the offense, he could even throw more often if he plays all 16 games again.
Torrey Smith total receiving yards in 2012 (900.5): Over again. I'm all-in on this being a breakout season for Smith, who I have on two or three of my fantasy teams. The speedster might not get to the 1,000-yard plateau, but he will definitely top 900.
Haloti Ngata total sacks in 2012 (five): My gut is telling me to take the under, even though Ngata had 5.5 sacks in 2010 and five in 2011. The loss of Terrell Suggs will mean more attention for Ngata, which could result in fewer sacks and tackles for loss.
RUNNING IT BACK
The Ravens released offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie on Tuesday, except for they didn't. After a day's worth of drama and a million-dollar pay cut, McKinnie is still with the Ravens. … Speaking of McKinnie, Mike Preston thinks he is "the biggest drama queen in the country." … Ravens coach John Harbaugh said linebacker Sergio Kindle survived the final roster cuts because it was too soon to give up on his pass-rushing potential.
The Ravens do not practice Wednesday because they play Monday instead of Sunday, but they will open up the locker room to media.
RAVENS STUFF, BUT NOT FROM US
ESPN's Bill Polian thinks the Ravens will win the Super Bowl. … NFL.com's Ian Rapoport recapped what exactly happened with McKinnie and the Ravens. … J. Michael of Comcast thinks this is Sergio Kindle's last chance.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
The Bengals placed center Kyle Cook on injured reserve and signed a tight end. … After making the playoffs last year, the Bengals are now striving for consistency. … ESPN is showing the Bengals little love in their preseason playoff picks.
SHAMELESS PLUG(S) OF THE DAY
Check out my blog post comparing Torrey Smith and A.J. Green. Both were dangerous as rookies, and their stat lines compared favorably to the rookie stat lines of Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and other top-flight NFL wide receivers.
AWAY FROM THE GRIDIRON
It's September 5 and the Orioles are in first place (this deserves an exclamation point)! ... Brooks Robinson is also excited about the Orioles. ... The Orioles gave fans a sneak peek at Cal Ripken's statue, but it doesn't reveal much unfortunately. ... The Terps have landed a big-time men's hoops transfer. ... The city and Grand Prix organizers are refusing to release attendance figures for this year's race, which can't be a good thing, right?
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Which second-year wide receiver would you rather have the long haul: Torrey Smith, A.J. Green, Julio Jones or someone else?