Patriots-Chiefs matchup of the day: Sunday

Posted Nov. 20, 2011 @ 5:22 p.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

Here's a key matchup to watch in the Week 11 game between the Patriots and Chiefs:

Patriots WR Wes Welker vs. Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers

Welker doesn't catch a break after having to go against Jets CB Darrelle Revis last week, as he gets another elite corner in Flowers. It's not clear if Flowers will stick with Welker all game, but it's expected that the two will line up opposite one another often on Monday night.

Flowers has 15 passes defensed and four interceptions this season. The 5-9, 187-pound corner is more physical than his size might suggest, and that's what you need against Welker. Flowers will try to jam Welker at the line to throw him off his route, forcing Tom Brady to look elsewhere.

Welker is still on a record pace, but his numbers have taken a dip since playing some of the league's more physical secondaries in recent weeks. To open things up for Welker, Brady sometimes motions him into the backfield to get a different matchup.

Flowers has shown his good ball skills this season, and the Chiefs know that turnovers will be a key if they want to upset New England. When he is on Brady's favorite target, Flowers likely will be looking to pick the ball off.

The times that Brady has struggled have been when opponents take Welker out of the equation. Welker is often Brady's first read, and if the Patriots' O-line struggles with OLB Tamba Hali and Welker is covered well by Flowers, that could play into the Chiefs' hands.

But Brady often finds a way to not only get Welker involved, but also use his other weapons if a team does a good job on Welker.