The New England Patriots looked like a juggernaut last Saturday in its 45-10 victory over the Denver Broncos, but that was a mismatch against an opposing defense that was with a weak secondary. Tom Brady won't be able to throw six touchdown passes against the Baltimore Ravens defense. Still, CBS' panel of five experts has gone with the Patriots in a straight pick'em for this game.
Pete Prisco broke down his selection of the Patriots, whom he has winning, 31-21. While Prisco notes the Ravens' dominant playoff victory at Gillette Stadium two years ago, time has changed those teams. Prisco also believes the Ravens should attempt to shut down Rob Gronkowski, but that means Brady can just go to Aaron Hernandez. As strong as the Ravens' defense is, both tight ends can't be stopped.
If Joe Flacco can get through the Patriots' pass defense early, the Ravens should be able to stay in this game and possibly pull off the upset. But even if they can't, the Ravens might make it close enough to overcome the spread of 7.5 points in favor of the Patriots.
For updates and analysis on these teams leading up to the 2012 AFC Championship, visit Ravens blog Baltimore Beat Down, Patriots blog Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston. Don't forget to check out SB Nation's NFL hub for all your playoff news.