The Carolina Panthers enter Sunday’s contest against the Indianapolis Colts with something they haven’t felt all season: pressure. Yes, Cam Newton has reinvigorated the fan base and given hope to a hopeless team, but the bottom line is that this team is currently 2-8.
It’s been a pressure free season for the Panthers, who have had little to no expectations placed on them this year. Yet against the Colts pressure will be felt. A loss to Indy and all of a sudden all the hope that has been gained this season will be washed away. The honeymoon period would be over with Newton and this new coaching staff.
It would be an absolute disaster.
The good news is that it would take an extremely poor performance from the Panthers to lose to the Colts. But with the way the defense has been playing anything is possible.
This is my first post for Cat Crave and I would like to start a tradition of throwing out gameday predictions each week. With that being said, let’s get started.
No. 1–Brandon LaFell will top 100 yards
With Legedu Naanee banged up LaFell will slide into a starting spot. Fans have been clamoring for LaFell to get more reps, and today they will get their wish.
The Colts are ranked 23rd against the pass and have routinely been burned. This is a great opportunity for LaFell to earn the starting spot opposite to Steve Smith.
No. 2–The Colts won’t rush for 100 yards
The Panthers’ defensive woes are well documented. They have been gashed on the ground week after week. Fortunately, today, Carolina won’t be going up a strong rushing attack.
I still expect that the Colts will be able to move the ball on the ground I just don’t see them topping the 100-yard mark. This feels like a game where the Panthers will be in control of the ball for most of the contest.
No.3–Cam Newton won’t turn the ball over
Newton has thrown 14 interceptions on the season–four of those coming last game–and has been coerced into turning the ball over. That should change against the Colts, a team that has struggled to create turnovers.
The Panthers are going up against a team that is worse at stopping the run than they are. I fully expect Carolina to grind this one out on the ground as opposed to trying to win this one through the air.
As potent as the passing attack of the Panthers can be this is a game where DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart earn their paychecks. Newton will make some spectacular plays as he always does, but he will wind up being more of a game manager today.
There are my predictions for the day. In the future I will have more than three per game, but I got a late start on the day and we are already close to kickoff.