It’s the Week 8 edition of Monday Night Football, and if you’d have told me at the outset of this season that the Carolina Panthers would be undefeated and the Indianapolis Colts were struggling, I would’ve quite obviously been stunned. But here we are, and yet again many pre-season predictions have been proven meaningless. Indy travels to Carolina a beaten down team, as is evident by the recent discovery that Andrew Luck has been playing through some fractured ribs. The Colts enter with a dismal 3-4 record, a far cry for many who pegged them as Super Bowl contenders. Still, they’re a dangerous group that knows the situation is dire and a win here would put them in a decent spot in an awful AFC South division. Can the Panthers fend off this talented group to remain perfect? Read on below for a full game preview and prediction to end your Week 8 on a winning note!
Colts vs. Panthers Betting Odds:
Indianapolis Colts +6.5 (-110)
@ Carolina Panthers -6.5 (-110)
Over 46.5 (-110)
Under 46.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Colts vs. Panthers Pick:
Andrew Luck has looked pretty awful for some time now, and that’s definitely been unconventional for a pitcher of his stature. At least now, we know why – given the recent news of an injury to his ribs. It definitely doesn’t help the fact that he’s basically getting drilled pretty much every time he drops back in the pocket. His offensive line is atrocious – among the worst in the NFL, and with that it’s going to be tough for the Colts on MNF. Luck and his offense really struggled until garbage time against the Saints last week, so it is definitely going to be a challenge consistently moving the chains against this scary Panthers defense.
Carolina possesses an absolutely ferocious front-seven, and pride themselves on being a nuisance to opposing quarterbacks. Look for the Panthers to swarm Luck every single time he drops back in the pocket and virtually live in the backfield on Monday evening. As good as Luck is, and as talented of a group of receivers he’s got – it will be difficult for Indy against one of the league’s most dominant defensive units.
On the other side of the football, the Panthers offense has vastly exceeded expectations thus far in 2015. Despite losing key wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, the Panthers attack hasn’t missed a beat. Most of their success can be attributed to the play of Cam Newton from the QB position. He’s been excellent in most starts this year, and has emerged as a real dual-threat player that can burn defenses in many ways. The Colts cannot defend this – and in face, they really can’t defend at all. They are horrible against the run, and Jonathan Stewart is poised for a huge outing. This should open things up through the air for Newton, and since the Colts have only registered the third fewest sacks this year, look for the Panthers QB to have all kinds of time and space to carve up this porous secondary. Indianapolis has conceded an average of 323.8 passing yards over their past five weeks – a simply staggering figure.
Even though the Colts were supposed to be much better this season, and the Panthers much worse, that’s just simply not the case. Carolina is for real in 2015 and their defense should be able to disrupt a talented offense from the Colts. The Panthers will again look to assert their dominance under the national spotlight of Monday Night Football, and look for them to finish with a convincing, double-digit victory against Luck and the Colts.
PICK = Panthers -6.5 (-110)