The Carolina Panthers are 6-0 on the season but they haven’t faced a single team with a winning record. This week’s opponent won’t be any different as the 3-4 Indianapolis Colts pay a visit to Charlotte for Monday Night Football. Both teams are in first place in their respective divisions, but a clear gap in talent exists between the two teams, as the point spread is favoring the Panthers at -5.5.
Monday Night Football: Carolina Panthers vs. Indianapolis Colts
Point Spread: Panthers -5.5 Over/under: 46.5 Date: Monday, November 2, 8:30pm ET Location:Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
The 5.5-point underdog Colts may be in first place in the AFC South, but that’s not saying much. Indianapolis’ offense has been lackluster and will have another poor showing against the Panthers. Poor offensive line play will look even worse against the Panthers defensive front. Andrew Luck has looked more like himself the last two weeks, but is still turning the ball over at a high rate. He’ll need to get the ball out of his hands quickly to avoid the rush. A few early completions will give Frank Gore some room in the box to get going on the ground, but without offensive balance, Indianapolis is likely to see a whole lot of blitzing.
Ranking dead last in the league in total defense, Indianapolis might not be in terrible shape against Carolina. The Panthers rank near the bottom of the league in total offense, which gives the Colts’ anemic pass rush and lackluster secondary a chance to gain some confidence. If they can contain Cam Newton on the ground and take targets away from tight end Greg Olsen, they stand a chance at keeping the Panthers out of the end zone long enough to give their offense a chance to get on track.
Despite being undefeated, the 5.5-point favored Panthers have much work to do be considered one of the best teams in the league. They’re winning games, but their offense leaves much to be desired. A game against the Colts is as good a time as any for Cam Newton to start finding his receivers down field. With an Indianapolis secondary that’s giving up 286 yards per game, they need to create mismatches with Olsen and get running back Jonathan Steward involved in some high-percentage screen plays.
Facing an offensive line as bad as the Colts must have the Panthers defense drooling. With 18 sacks and nine interceptions on the year, this could be a rough outing for Luck and the rest of the Indianapolis offense. The goal for Carolina is to simply overpower the Colts line and not give Luck any time to throw. Taking away the passing game takes away any real chance to score as Indianapolis has not had consistent success running the ball with Frank Gore.
Monday Night Football Prediction
The Panthers may not be an offensive juggernaut but their defense good enough to keep every game within reach. When the Colts are on, they can score at will but that just hasn’t been the case lately and likely won’t happen against Carolina at home. The Panthers defense is just too good and Indianapolis’ offensive line is just too bad to stand up to it.