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Key matchup

Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker vs. Giants defensive back Antrel Rolle

February 4, 2012
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ABOUT WELKER: The 5-foot-9-inch, 185-pounder led the NFL with 122 receptions - the fourth-highest total in league history. Welker joined Cris Carter as the only players to have at least 120 catches in two seasons. Welker was second in the league with a franchise-record 1,569 receiving yards. He had nine catches for 136 yards (15.1 average) on 10 targets in the Week 9 meeting against the Giants.

ABOUT ROLLE: The eighth overall pick in the 2005 draft by the Cardinals was moved from cornerback to safety in 2008. With the Giants, Rolle (6-0, 208) plays free safety and nickel cornerback. He led the team with 96 tackles (82 solo) during the regular season, and also in the postseason (14 and 11). For his career, Rolle has 15 interceptions (two this season) and 44 passes defended.

SKINNY: In Week 9, Rolle covered Welker on three passes (two receptions for 34 yards). Only 9 yards came after the catch - Welker’s specialty. Rolle took on Greg Jennings and Randall Cobb of the Packers in the divisional round when they played in the slot. The Packers receivers combined for four catches (five targets) for 47 yards. Jennings averaged just 6.7 yards per reception. Expect Rolle to get help on Welker when they lock horns.

EDGE: Patriots.

GREG A. BEDARD

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