2012 NFL AFC Championship:Baltimore Ravens vs.
New England PatriotsJanuary 19, 2012 by Marc Jerbs

On Sunday, second-ranked Baltimore Ravens meet the top-ranked New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. The winner of this game moves ahead to Super Bowl XLVI. New England's Gillette Stadium will host this game and kick-off is set at 3PM ET.

The Baltimore Ravens believe that they have the personnel to stop the high-octane offense of the New England Patriots. The Ravens must have a pass-rush defense on Sunday in order to negate Patriots QB Tom Brady's superb passing game.

However, Tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez should also be Baltimore's concern since these two players could create major problems during the game. It is important for the Ravens read the Patriots offense correctly and don't let their guard down until the game ends.

The New England Patriots chose the correct time to reach their deadly form. QB Tom Brady leads his team consistently in every play. He's unpredictable since he spreads the Patriots' offense to different players.

New England's main concern is to stop the running game of Ravens RB Ray Rice. In three career outings against the Patriots, he has amassed 437 total yards for an average of more than 100 yards per game.

Shutting down the Ravens running game will force QB Joe Flacco to rely heavily on his erratic passing game.

The sportsbook handicappers have installed the New England Patriots as a 7.5-point favorite to beat the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens may have a chance if they could up a notch their defense this Sunday afternoon.