On a general football forum a Ravens fan said well look what the Steelers did to the Patriots and they are similar defenses.
Patriots crush Chargers, Chargers kill Ravens, Ravens destroy Steelers, Steelers beat up the Patriots. Completely irrelevant. It all comes down to the match-ups.
For the Ravens defense the match up is their LBs and safeties against Hernandez and Gronkowski while still covering Welker and getting a pass rush. Baltimore will try to confuse Brady by mixing up coverages and pressure. I don't see anybody on their defense who can match-up with either of the TEs one on one so the match-up that is most important to the Pats is the O-line containing Baltimore's line and Suggs. As much as we might hate him Suggs is a beast. I think it would be wise to chip Suggs as much as possible to give Light help.
For the Patriots defense the match-up is containing the run while not allowing Baltimore to hit the deep ball. While most would consider Flacco a better QB than Tebow he's not that far ahead of Tebow in terms of being able to read coverage and hit the intermediate routes. He pretty much either goes deep or dumps it off to the backs. Chung and Spikes being healthy is key. Torey Smith is somebody they cannot give a free release to. Joseph did an awesome job vs him in the divisional round. Be it Moore or McCorty they're going to need the same effort. Given the need to stop the run the Pats are probably looking at playing some cover one so the deep safety will be very important.
I think the game comes down to this for the Pats. Stop the run and don't turn the ball over and you win. You can say that most weeks but essentially that makes the game Brady vs Flacco and that's a no brainer. To do that pass protection is essential. I think Solder will see a lot of 3rd TE duty.
Five players who were not there in 09 who cause match up nightmares of fill in matchup nightmares are Welker, Gronk, Hernandez, Chung and Spikes. I think they'll win because of those 5 additions. 4 of them from a team that can't draft.