The Indianapolis Colts played well earlier in the season at home. But they have lost their last two home games by a combined score of 48-10. But, the Panthers are 0-4 on the road this year, so something has to give. Here is a look at the matchups in this game:
When the Colts have the ball: Due to extremely poor coaching, the Colts will continue to be a passing first team this weekend. Curtis Painter might actually have a chance for some success this weekend. The Panthers’ don’t have much of a pass rush and they are giving up 234.1 yards passing per game this year. Painter would be smart to get Reggie Wayne more involved in the offense this weekend as he has been wasted this year. Pierre Garcon also has potential for a big game if Painter can get him the ball this Sunday. The Panthers are giving up 140.7 yards rushing per game and 4.8 yards per carry this year, so if the Colts were smart they would get the ball in Donald Brown and Delone Carter’s hands running the ball in an effort to control the clock a little and keep Cam Newton and his boys on the sideline.
When the Panthers have the ball: The Colts’ D is probably worried about this weekend as Cam Newton and his high flying offense invade town. The Panthers are a pass first team, so it will be up to DEs Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney to put the heat on Newton while also containing him in the pocket. That will be easier said than done. Newton will be taking aim at a Colts’ D that is allowing opposing QBs a 109.7 QB Rating so far this year. The Colts will likely try to double WR Steve Smith (56 rec, 992 yards, 5 TDs) and force the Panthers to beat them by throwing to someone else….that will be easier said than done. WR Brandon LaFell, TE Jeremy Shockey and TE Greg Olsen give Newton a lot of other weapons to throw the ball down the field to. The scary thing about defending the Panthers is that they also have an outstanding pair of RBs in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.
PREDICTION: PANTHERS 41, COLTS 20