New England's defense should dictate
Updated: January 20, 2004, 9:35 AM ETBy Scouts, Inc. | For ESPN Insider
Editor's note: Scouts, Inc., takes an early look at the Super Bowl. They'll be back later this week and throughout the walk-up to Super Bowl XXXVIII with more in-depth scouting reports.
No NFL team in recent memory has been as steadfast in sticking to its game plan on offense as the Panthers, whose 40 rushes and 14 passes against Philadelphia in the NFC championship game were textbook Carolina football.
Don't expect coach John Fox to suddenly bend to New England, which could be without linebacker Tedy Bruschi (leg) and no longer has the advantage of playing in Foxboro. Still, RBs Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster by themselves won't be enough to pick apart the Patriots, whose 3-4 scheme and skilled, versatile personnel have shut down some other very good run games this season.