Patriots-Bears matchup of the day: Thursday

Posted Dec. 09, 2010 @ 5:32 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

Here's a look at another key matchup heading into Sunday's Week 14 battle between the Patriots and Bears.

Patriots WR Wes Welker vs. Bears nickel back D.J. Moore

The Bears' nickel package should get plenty of work against the Patriots, who frequently spread the field with their deep crop of weapons at receiver and tight end. Moore has shown a knack for making big plays, but he still has only 15 games under his belt, and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick could be tempted to test Moore by designing plays to get Welker matched up against him.

QB Tom Brady looks for Welker on short-to-intermediate routes, and Welker is in the midst of his most productive stretch of the season. He has averaged more than 11 yards per catch in each of the past four games and scored four of his seven touchdowns in the past three contests.

Moore typically is smaller than the receiver he's covering, but he will not be at a size disadvantage against Welker, who is listed at the same height as Moore (5-9). Welker is a quick, disciplined route runner, and Moore has to react quickly to keep Welker from finding open space. If he loses Welker when Brady eludes the pass rush and creates extra time to throw, the Patriots will capitalize.