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
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday that linebacker Ray Lewis, who is eligible to practice as soon as Thursday, could return to the team earlier than expected. ... Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and tight end Ed Dickson escaped Sunday's game without major injury. ... Harbaugh said that Ray Rice's crazy catch-and-run Sunday is "going to go down in history." ... The Ravens activated wide receiver David Reed from the PUP list. ... They need a little help, but the Ravens can clinch the AFC North title as soon as this weekend.
RAVENS STUFF, BUT NOT FROM US
The Ravens defense continues to improve. ... Linebacker Terrell Suggs is making an impact, even if he doesn't have the sacks to show for it. ... With the way they are playing, maybe the Ravens shouldn't rush Ray Lewis back. ... Defensive end Arthur Jones responded to a challenge a from safety Ed Reed.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
The Pittsburgh Steelers are clinging to a playoff spot. ... The Steelers activated guard David DeCastro, their first-round draft pick, and put offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert on injured reserve. ... The Steelers' ground game is running on empty. ... The Steelers need quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to go on a playoff run.
SHAMELESS PLUG OF THE DAY
Here are my weekly NFL power rankings. The Ravens are on the rise after another win, but did they crack my top five this week?
OUTSIDE OF BALTIMORE
Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. ... Seattle Seahawks cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner have denied taking performance enhancing drugs. ... The Tennessee Titans fired their offensive coordinator, Chris Palmer. ... The Oakland Raiders might consider giving playing time to young quarterback Terrelle Pryor. ... Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles got Peyton Manning's autograph after the Denver Broncos beat them Sunday.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times