Preston: key matchups vs. Patriots

Patriots WR Wes Welker vs. Ravens CB Chris Carr

New England coach Bill Belichick has had two weeks to toy with his offense, and it will be interesting to see what he does with Welker. Usually, the Patriots put Welker in the slot, and move him around a lot so he can get off the line of scrimmage cleanly. He should be matched up with Carr. Both players are small; Carr has more speed, and Welker is stronger. Carr is a smart player, and he'll have to be on his game to counter all the tricks the Patriots come up with to spring Welker. Edge: Welker

Patriots QB Tom Brady vs. Ravens safeties Dawan Landry and Tom Zbikowski

Brady had to watch the game film last week and see how slow Landry and Zbikowski were in pass defense. Both were beaten and gave up long touchdown passes. Brady will take his shots today. He is excellent at looking off safeties and then going back in their direction. Both Landry and Zbikowski need to be reminded that their No. 1 priority is not to give up the long ball. That is unacceptable. Edge: Brady

Patriots NT Vince Wilfork vs. Ravens C Matt Birk

The Patriots list Wilfork's weight at 325, but he has to be around 350. When he is on, he can shut down a team's running game from tackle to tackle. Wilfork has bulk, but he is also surprisingly quick. Birk is coming off a second straight impressive performance. His forte is his quickness and being able to make blocks into the second level. In the playoff game against the Patriots last year, Birk handled Wilfork well. Edge: Birk

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