Carolina must limit McNabb's options
Updated: January 16, 2004, 7:07 AM ETBy Scouts, Inc. | For ESPN Insider
Editor's note: After a week of watching film, Scouts, Inc., takes a second look at each NFL conference championship match-up.
The Panthers' mental toughness was never more apparent than last week against the Rams. Carolina lost RB Stephen Davis to a quad injury, committed 13 penalties for 92 yards, had a game-winning field goal negated by a penalty and allowed the Rams to successfully convert an on-side kick that was recovered by the kicker. Most teams would have folded playing on the road in a hostile environment, but the Panthers didn't. And don't expect them to be intimidated by a tough Philadelphia crowd, either.
The Packers blitzed Donovan McNabb heavily, resulting in eight sacks and frequently forcing him to hurry his decisions. It's important to remember that Philadelphia likes to send all of its skill players out on pass routes and protect McNabb only with his five offensive linemen. Obviously, when a defense sends six defenders on the pass rush, there aren't enough blockers.