Although Baltimore Ravens CB Corey Graham is riding high after a two-interception performance last week against the Broncos, teammate Cary Williams might have more to prove in Sunday's AFC Championship game.
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Williams hasn't blocked out much from the Ravens' first meeting against the Patriots in Week 3 when Tom Brady targeted him 13 times in Baltimore's 31-30 win. In Sunday's rematch, Graham and Williams will need to have stellar performances if the Ravens hope to return to the Super Bowl for the first time in more than a decade.
Graham will be faced with the arduous task of defending one of the league's top slot receivers in Wes Welker. Despite the narrow loss in Week 3, Welker had eight catches for 142 yards, including a 59-yarder. Operating out of the no-huddle, Brady caught the Ravens napping on the long pass down the left sideline. After crisply running a double move from the slot, Welker became wide open between safeties Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard.
“He makes a lot of guys miss with fakes and things like that, so he is a complete receiver,” Graham said. “I have my hands full in the slot, but I am up to the challenge.”
Williams could be tested downfield if Brady looks to stretch the field with WR Brandon Lloyd. In Week 3, Lloyd finished with a team-high nine receptions for 108 yards. Of the 13 times Brady targeted a receiver covered by Williams, he completed nine passes.
“I can see why he'd be frustrated by it," Ravens coach John Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun. “Great quarterbacks like Tom Brady go after the defense. They go after whatever they feel like the route calls for, what the coverage calls for."
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