Game Overview ::
By mike johnson >>
- Indianapolis continues to be a part of explosive game environments due to an aggressive offensive scheme and play calling along with a sub-par defense.
- Carolina finally won a game last week with a 15-13 victory in a pillow fight with the Texans.
- The Panthers run defense is the worst in the league by most metrics and faces one of the top rushing attacks in the league this week.
- This game has the second highest over/under on the Week 9 main slate.
- The Panthers came out of their Week 7 bye and had their lowest pass attempt total of the season, but improved efficiency.
How Indianapolis Will Try To Win ::
The Colts have been a goldmine of fun and one of the lone bright spots in the NFL this year as scoring has been down across the board and we have been subjected to a lot of boring and sloppy football through the first half of the season. First year head coach Shane Steichen has opened things up and is playing an aggressive brand of football while creating explosive plays in both the running game and the passing game. He hasn’t pulled back since losing rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson, either, allowing Gardner Minshew to sling it. That offensive aggressiveness combined with a shaky defense has made Indianapolis games a viewer’s delight, as six of their eight games have resulted in combined scores of more than 50 points. Their last three games had combined scores of 65, 77, and 57.
Indianapolis ranks 30th in pass rate over expectation (PROE) but leads in pace of play. Their pass rate has also increased since Richardson left the lineup, as many of his designed run plays have turned into passes. The Colts also have two highly effective running backs in Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss, who have each provided explosive plays running behind PFF’s #4 ranked run blocking offensive line. This week they have a matchup against the league’s worst run defense in the Panthers. Carolina has been decimated on the ground by pretty much everyone, with the lone exception being last week against the Texans whose running game futility found a way to outmatch the ineptitude of Carolina’s run defense. Any team with a decent running game has simply had their way with the Panthers and the Colts have the scheme and talent to shove the ball down their throats. The Panthers pass defense isn’t much to write home about, either, and they especially have trouble from an efficiency standpoint against teams who are crushing them on the ground. Basically, they get hit so hard on the ground that they have no choice but to sell out and then get burned in the secondary. That recipe should fit right into the Colts approach as they will let Taylor and Moss take turns ripping off chunk runs and then let Minshew pick them apart on the back end.