An early look at three matchups to watch

There hasn't been time to break down the AFC Championship Game between the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots in depth yet, but at first glance, here are three matchups to watch.

San Diego C Nick Hardwick vs. New England NT Vince Wilfork

alt="Wilfork" width="65" height="90" border="0">

alt="Hardwick" width="65" height="90" border="0">
Hardwick is quick, agile, tough and technically sound, but he gives up 30 pounds to 325-pound Wilfork, the consummate 3-4 nose tackle. For the Chargers to have success running the ball, it is essential they get Wilfork blocked, and that probably will take a double-team from Hardwick and one of San Diego's guards. If that happens, ILBs Tedy Bruschi and Junior Seau should be able to stay pretty clean in their pursuit in the run game.