Ravens center Matt Birk, a former Harvard standout, joined the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday to talk about Sunday's AFC championship game.

Birk, in his third season in Baltimore after 11 years with the Vikings, said he doesn't put much stock into the fact that the Ravens beat the Patriots in their last playoff meeting, in Foxboro two years ago.

During the Patriots' 45-10 victory over the Broncos on Saturday night, Tim Tebow tore cartilage on his first rib, bruised his lung and had fluid buildup in the plural space of his chest, according to a report by ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Schefter credits an NFL source as saying Tebow's injuries occurred when the quarterback was hit in the pocket after throwing a pass early in the third quarter.

Tebow had an MRI on his chest Monday and has been undergoing rehab this week. He is expected to begin his offseason training program on schedule.

“A mind that is anxious about the future is miserable.” -- Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger

“Do not sit in the corner and sulk. It draws attention a negative way. Draw attention to yourself, but in a positive way.” -- Wedding Crashers Rule No. 6



It remains one of the most distinguishing aspects of the Patriots offense in 2011: the no-huddle.



Ravens safety Ed Reed injured his ankle late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's victory over the Texans, but coach John Harbaugh implied that the injury was not serious.

“Ed looks like he’s all right with the ankle,” Harbaugh said. “Everything’s come up OK as far as the X-rays.”

Patriots director of pro personnel Jason Licht interviewed with the Bears Monday for their vacant general manager job, according to multiple Chicago news outlets.

FOXBORO -- While many have already reduced this week’s AFC Championship Game between the Patriots and the Ravens to a rematch of their 2009 playoff showdown, the truth is that these two teams are far different than the ones that met that afternoon three years ago at Gillette Stadium.



FOXBORO -- Wide receiver Wes Welker is drawing a lot of attention for his mustache campaign this postseason, but when it comes to facial hair, linebacker Rob Ninkovich clearly has him beat.



Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, in his weekly appearance on The Big Show, said that New England's defense played good football for the entire game the first time this season in their playoff victory against the Broncos Saturday night. The Patriots defeated Denver, 45-10, advancing to the AFC Championship game this Sunday in Foxboro. Wilfork said the team's bye week helped shore up a defensive unit that struggled with inconsistency all season.

FOXBORO -- Wes Welker went to the Super Bowl in his first year with the Patriots. He hasn't been back since. The experience in between, including overcoming an ACL tear before the '09 playoffs, has taught him not to take the journey to football's biggest stage for granted.

"After that ’07 year, I thought we’d be going to the Super Bowl just about every year," Welker said Monday. "That’s just not the way it works. It’s hard to get to a position like this. You definitely have to take full advantage of this and not take it for granted."