RB: Stevan Ridley vs. Ravens linebackers
Ridley has shown all season he has a quick burst and surprising strength against defenses. He'll need the latter if he hopes to break any tackles against a Ravens defense that is energized by the return of veteran Ray Lewis (17 tackles last week) and boosted by the play of Terrell Suggs (10 tackles, 2 sacks last week).
But what we've seen is the Ravens have had a tough time going sideline to sideline. The Patriots like to utilize stretch running plays for Ridley. If there is an emphasis on the run, and a willingness to stick with it throughout the game, Ridley is sure to make his mark by breaking it outside. He had 82 yards on 15 carries in the wild-card round against Houston, a much better run defense than the Ravens.