Panthers eyeing Colts with enthusiasm and a dose of caution
As the Carolina Panthers zero in on their Sunday matchup with the Indianapolis Colts, the biggest question is will they be able to maintain their winning ways. Getting Austin Corbett proved fruitful in being able to improve protection for Bryce Young. But despite their performance against the Texans, the defense continues to struggle against the run.
The Panthers will face a Colts team that now has Gardner Minshew over Center with Anthony Richardson on IR - who despite having ball security issues, 5 turnovers in the last three games, can be unpredictable – a key takeaway for Panthers Linebackers Brian Burns and Frankie Luvu who was recently dubbed the NFC defensive player of the week.
The Colts also boast a healthy run game with running backs Zach Moss and Jonathan Taylor who racked up 161 yards collectively against the Saints last week – an area the Panthers defense has not been very good – racking up a 28th ranked 4.7 yards per carry this year. But it’s something that Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero feels can be remedied this week. “They’ve been really consistently running the ball all year and we’re gonna have to be ready to go,” said Evero
The Panthers offense, the unit that now knows what a winning drive feels like, thanks in part to the 235 passing yards and 7.6 yards per attempt performance by Bryce Young against the Texans, looks to repeat that experience against a Colts defense that has been leaky in the secondary and not been very stout when it comes to the pass rush. The Colts have allowed 247.3 yards per game this season. But when facing a defense that may provide a variety of opportunities, discipline will be key to repeating according to offensive coordinator Thomas Brown. “We gotta do a better job at the point of contact when it comes to being firm but also myself as a play caller for the first time …not trying to be too greedy when it comes to second and ten, second and 12 trying to take shots,” Brown said during his Thursday morning press conference.
“It’s a learning process for all of us.”
The Panthers injury report for this Thursday included some familiar names.
PANTHERS INJURY REPORT
Player Name POS Injury WED THU FRI DESIG.
DJ Chark WR Elbow DNP LP --------
Claudin Cherelus LB Knee DNP DNP --------
Troy Hill CB Illness DNP FP --------
Justin Houston LB Hamstring DNP DNP --------
Hayden Hurst TE Illness DNP FP --------
Taylor Moton RT Knee/Rest DNP LP --------
Laviska Shenault WR Ankle DNP DNP --------
Adam Thielen WR Rest DNP LP --------
Vonn Bell S Quad LP LP --------
Brian Burns LB Elbow LP LP --------
Austin Corbett G Knee LP LP --------
Frankie Luvu LB Hip LP FP --------
Chandler Wooten LB Hamstring LP LP --------
Raheem Blackshear RB Groin LP FP --------
The Panthers host the Colts this Sunday at Bank of America Stadium at 4:05 p.m. For more information on this week’s matchup, log on to adsn1.com.