Indianapolis (3-4) at Carolina (6-0)
When: Monday, November 2nd 2015
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: ESPN
The Carolina Panthers are trying to stay one of the five unbeaten teams in the NFL when they host the struggling Colts on Monday Night Football. Carolina’s early season schedule didn’t make believers out many people, but the have proven experts wrong the last two weeks by beating both the Seahawks and Eagles. Cam Newton has a very low 55% completion percentage this season as he does not have any real threats at wide receiver. The Panthers lost their number 1 wideout Kelvin Benjamin before the season even started. Carolina has turned to more of a running team and it’s paying off. They have the top-ranked rushing attack in football at 144.7 yards a game led by Newton and Jonathan Stewart. Last week against Philly, Stewart busted out for 125 yards on 24 carries – both season highs. Newton is on pace to have career highs in attempts and yards. The Panther defense has also been a huge factor, holding opponents to 18.3 points a game – 5th best in the NFL, while ranking 8th in sacks. With the Falcons loss yesterday, Carolina can really put a strangle-hold on the NFC South.
The Colts are going in the opposite direction. They are a complete mess and even if they lose tonight, they’ll still be in first place in the pathetic AFC South. Right now, their 3-4 record is good enough to get in the playoffs. They have the 2nd worst defense in the NFL allowing 408.6 yards of offense a game and 285.9 through the air. It doesn’t get much better on offense despite having Andrew Luck back under center. The Colts are 1-4 when Luck starts and 2-0 when Hasselbeck starts. Luck has thrown 9 interceptions in five games. He threw 16 last year and just 9 the year before. I know he doesn’t have much around him and he’s probably playing more hurt than he’s telling everyone, but he’s just not the same right now. The Colts don’t have much of a running game either. They’re ranked 27th in the league averaging only 93.6 yards a game. Frank Gore has yet to break 100 yards in his 7 games with the Colts.
I thought the Colts would turn it around last week against Indianapolis and they didn’t. I thought the Panthers would finally look average against the Eagles last week, and I was wrong. The Panthers are much better than I thought and I think they will get after Luck and force him to turn it over more than once. Carolina wins big tonight.
Pick: Panthers -6.5