Panthers must force Rams out of cover-2

Updated: January 9, 2004, 8:15 AM ET
By Football Scouts, Inc. | For ESPN Insider
Editor's note: After a week of watching film, Football Scouts, Inc., takes a second look at each NFL playoff match-up.

  • The Panthers have a great feel for when the defense will stack to stop RB Stephen Davis, allowing QB Jake Delhomme to exploit single-coverage match-ups. If they can break the cover-2 defense and force the Rams into man-to-man coverage on the perimeter, they will have a shot to make some big plays. If the Rams can stay in their two-deep zone, however, Delhomme will have a far more difficult time making vertical throws.

  • Carolina's receiving duo of Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad suddenly looks potent. Last week the two combined for nine receptions, 238 yards and a touchdown.