Patriots Offense Poses Matchup Problems for Ravens Defense & Other AFC East News

Erik FrenzSenior Writer IJanuary 16, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 13:  Aaron Hernandez #81 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball against Danieal Manning #38 of the Houston Texans during the 2013 AFC Divisional Playoffs game at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The New England Patriots offense has battled through injuries all season long to remain the league's highest-scoring offense. 

It has done so thanks to favorable matchups and a cerebral quarterback that knows how to expose them.

In overly-hyped world of NFL scheme, love how Brady makes it sound simple. Not brain surgery. Just matchups. #Patriots

— Andy Hart (@JumboHart) January 16, 2013

In regards to the AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens, those matchups may work in New England's favor.

Said an NFL scout familiar with both teams (via Christopher Price of WEEI.com):

This week against the Ravens, the Patriots should use the multiple attack that they used last week, for several reasons. They have several personnel matchup advantages against the Baltimore defense. As we saw last week, Shane Vereen out of backfield as a receiver is a winnable matchup. In addition, Aaron Hernandez,Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd spread out the defense individually and as a group, and will also make things tougher for a Ravens’ secondary that has matchup problems.

Hernandez was not on the field in the last meeting, but if the Patriots are able to get either him or Vereen matched up on Ray Lewis in space, that's a favorable matchup for New England, and Brady will take it every time. 

In the first meeting with the Texans, Brady found Hernandez matched up on a linebacker and threw it to him out in the flat, where his athleticism proved too much for Bradie James.

In the playoffs, they ran almost the exact same play, with Hernandez once again matched up on the linebacker, and Brady went to Hernandez for another big game. Brady will take any slight matchup advantage without hesitation, and that could prove to be the difference Sunday.

Here's some more news from around the AFC East.

 

New England Patriots

Kevin Fishbain of Pro Football Weekly explains why Joe Flacco is going to see a much different secondary in the AFC Championship Game than he did in Week 3.

Bleacher Report Patriots featured columnist Mike Dussault lists the ways the Patriots' money could be best spent.

 

New York Jets

Bleacher Report Jets featured columnist Dylan Lewis lists five pass-rushers the Jets should consider adding this offseason.

Joe Caporoso and the TurnOnTheJets.com crew look into possible options for the Jets at running back.

 

Buffalo Bills

Bleacher Report Bills featured columnist Josh Cembellin lists the players who will be most positively influenced by the new coaching staff.

Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News lists the free agent decisions that the Bills will face this offseason.

 

Miami Dolphins

Bleacher Report Dolphins featured columnist Devin Noonan lists five reasons to be optimistic about the 2013 season.

Greg Stoda of The Palm Beach Post says the Dolphins should take lessons from the rest of the NFL in building their offense this offseason.

 

Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless otherwise specified, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.