Page 5 of 7 -- A: Old friend Bill Simmons of ESPN.com who lives out there while a writer on the "Jimmy Kimmel Live Show," also recommends it.
My thoughts on the game are this. The offense will score its points on Carolina. Although Carolina can stop the run, and rush the passer with their "dominant" front four, the Patriots cannot run the ball all that well and have their offense designed around quick passes therefore rendering the Panther pass rush null and void (if you get rid of the ball quick, people cannot rush the passer). The Carolina defense's strengths play into the strength of the Patriots. The New England offensive line will hold their own with the defensive front like have held all year against the rest of the league (0 sacks allowed this postseason, good stat to tell Warren Sapp). The Patriot defense will completely shut down the panther offense (who coincidentally isn't that good to begin with). The Panthers can run the ball, but the Pats are the third best rush defense in the league and they have Richard Seymour and Ted Washington, who are just as good as Carolinas defensive tackles. Steve Smith isn't even a factor because Ty Law is covering him. Ty will shut him down like he shuts down everyone, and Delhomme will not even throw the ball near Law. New England will get 2-3 turnovers, 1 big play by the defense, and 1 big play on special teams (mark my words on this special teams big play: it will happen). Tom Brady will win MVP again, and people (other than Patriots fans) will still keep saying he isn't that good. I see the game going similar to the Baltimore-Giants game of 2000-2001 season, with the defense dominating the game completely. The Patriots win big, 34-10, because Belichick and his boys have two weeks to plan the game. This is how I see the game playing out in my head. I was fairly close on my Indy-NE predictions (I said Peyton Manning would throw 5 picks and 1 TD pass), so I am very confident in this prediction of the Super Bowl. What are your predictions, and how do you see this game playing out?
-- Patrick Conley, Groton, Conn.
A: I see your vision. I see how you think the things that you stated will unfold could unfold. The reasons I think the game will be closer are 1) the game is basically a road game so while they're a very good road team, it's not like being in 5 degrees at Foxborough; 2)This might be a better running team than anyone they've faced. Don't underestimate John Fox having two weeks to game plan, as well. He's pretty good, too. Continued...