AFC Conference Championship Matchups: Brady, Welker And Lloyd Lead Patriots Passing Attack vs. Ed Reed And Ravens Secondary

on January 19 2013 1:49 AM
AFC Conference Championship Matchups: Brady, Welker And Lloyd Lead Patriots Passing Attack vs. Ed Reed And Ravens Secondary

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have a chance to repeat last years AFC Championship, and beat the Baltimore Ravens to advance to the Super Bowl. Baltimore will look back to Week 3, and their dramatic win in a shootout over the Patriots at home. The Patriots are looking to improve to 5-0 in home conference championships, and Tom Brady is chasing Joe Montana and Super Bowl history with two more wins. New England lost Rob Gronkowski to a broken arm against the Texans, but Brady still has an assortment of weapons to employ for the Patriots success. Brady targeted the Ravens cornerbacks in their previous match, and Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd both had big games. Welker and Lloyd are looking forward to the mismatches they represent facing the Ravens cornerbacks.

Since losing Ladarious Webb, cornerbacks Cary Williams and Corey Graham have played well for the Ravens 17th ranked passing defense, especially considering injury issues at corner and with Ed Reed. Williams and Graham are not up to the caliber of New England’s elite recievers, and Baltimore will look to defend more areas and schemes than man-to-man defense against the Patriots. Baltimore’s All-Pro safety Reed will be healthy and looked for to make a big play against their rival Patriots. Reed has a talent for reading Brady and has two postseason interceptions against the Patriots. Aaron Hernandez provides a versatile weapon in the passing game. Hernandez will be lining up at multiple positions in this game, as the Patriots looked for a mismatch, lining him up with different players.

Linebackers Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe will be critical for Baltimore, as New England has two versatile weapons in Hernandez and Danny Woodhead, and Shane Vereen waiting for a chance to come in. Vereen had a surprise superstar performance last week, coming in for Woodhead, who was game planed to be a key player. Vereen had 124 combined yards and 3 touchdowns, exploiting mismatches in the Texans linebacking corps. Brady has a lot to work with against the Ravens, but the Ravens have Ed Reed’s experience in the secondary, and Ray Lewis’ fervor and passionate leadership getting every ounce of talent out of a Baltimore defense that wanted this match.