1. Can the Patriots win without Wes Welker?
With Welker on the field, Brady averaged 8.3 yards per pass, and without him only 5.9 yards. Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said his team doubled Welker a few weeks ago and he still caught 13 passes. Julian Edelman replaces him and will catch his fair share of balls, but the Ravens will not double him and that leaves more coverage calls for Randy Moss.
2. Can Ray Rice carry the Ravens to a road win?
The Ravens averaged 6.8 yards per rush in the first matchup, but Jerod Mayo did not play. The Patriots know that the Ravens run the ball 55 percent of the time on first downs and almost half of those go for at least 4 yards. Baltimore averages 4.2 yards rushing on second downs as well, which means New England has to play the run on the early downs.
3. Is the Ravens' passing attack potent enough?
Brady is 8-0 at home in playoff games. In Brady's last 17 regular-season home games, he has thrown 38 touchdown passes, so Joe Flacco better be ready to keep up with the air attack.
Rice is the leading receiver with 78 catches, but he has only one touchdown grab. Todd Heap has been hot lately and needs to come through, as does Derrick Mason. Flacco gets sacked once every 14.9 dropbacks, which isn't good, but the Patriots have not gotten after the quarterback very well this season.