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 will get another shot at the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game. ... Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo got the war of words started Sunday by saying on Twitter that he doesn't respect the Patriots and their style of offense. ... After the Ravens beat the Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning waited more than an hour to congratulate Ray Lewis. ... Lewis told Joe Flacco that he is the general now. ... Justin Tucker got practice kicks in between the first and second overtime periods, which should not have been allowed.
RAVENS STUFF, BUT NOT FROM US
Saturday's game was a defining win for Flacco. ... The Ravens believe they are a team of destiny. ... Denver's defense let the Broncos down on Saturday. ... The Ravens were smart to keep running back Ray Rice involved against the Broncos. ... Was the win over the Broncos one of the greatest games ever?
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
Quarterback Tom Brady has the Patriots back in yet another AFC title game. ... With Brady, the Patriots always have a chance. ... Brady and shifty wide receiver Wes Welker are still a productive combination. ... Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich is always in the right place at the right time. ... Running back Shane Vereen made the most of his opportunity. ... The loss of Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski (again) will hurt, but it will not cripple the Patriots.
SHAMELESS PLUG OF THE DAY
Here are five things we learned in the win over the Broncos.
OUTSIDE OF BALTIMORE
Former Ravens coach Brian Billick landed an interview with the Philadelphia Eagles. ... You knew this, but the Patriots beat the Houston Texans on Sunday. ... The Atlanta Falcons barely eked by the Seattle Seahawks, and will play the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. ... The win was a first for Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, who was emotional after the game. ... The New York Jets can't give their general manager job away apparently. ... Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt might be in trouble again.