How other NFL coaches, players see today's game


"New England is a lot like us in 2001. They're so veteran, you can't dismiss that as a key. Carolina is physically talented. We'll see whether youth catches up [today].

"If I had to isolate one thing [that will decide the game], it's probably the experience of Tom Brady against Jake Delhomme. Both have strengths and weaknesses, but Brady is less apt to make a big error.

"Because of their experience, having been there and handling the pressure of the week, I have to [favor the Patriots]."

Brian Billick, Ravens coach

"Carolina has the stronger offensive and defensive line. New England probably has the stronger roster, top to bottom.

"It depends on the play of the quarterbacks -- if Jake can continue to play mistake-free as he has in the playoffs; Brady has proved he can do that.

"One of the big keys is if the Pats are able to play seven in the box and be as effective in the box and not have to double up [wide receiver] Steve Smith.

"If they can single cover Smith, they can commit an extra guy to the run. If Carolina can force them to go single, Smith could have an opportunity for some plays."

Jack Del Rio, Jaguars coach

"I think [the Panthers] are going to have to play zone. New England's offense isn't going to commit to the run, but they aren't afraid to run.

"The Patriots are going to try to spread you out. Anytime you try to spread a team out and play man-to-man, you're going to have some mismatches.

"I don't know how many times Carolina can afford to have mismatches across the field against the quick Patriots receivers.

"New England receivers are smaller, but they do a good job of getting off the press coverage. Tom Brady looks about as accurate as I've seen in a while."

Tony Banks, Texans quarterback

"The way they are playing, I think New England matches up well against Carolina. Up until now, I thought Carolina matched up well against every team they played.

"New England matches up well because of their strong defense and their physical nature, which will match what Carolina likes to do. New England has a few more weapons."

Kailee Wong, Texans linebacker

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