3 critical matchups that will decide Carolina Panthers vs. Colts in Week 9

Time to start building momentum...

C.J. Henderson
C.J. Henderson / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Jonathan Taylor vs. Carolina Panthers run defense

Suffice it to say that the Carolina Panthers' interior defense has been less than excellent this season. That could very well come back to bite them when the Indianapolis Colts trot out Jonathan Taylor on Sunday.

While Taylor has not been the same running back as those magical seasons that saw the bruising runner lead the league by a heft margin in rushing yards, there is still plenty left in the tank. With an extended rest to begin the year, those legs are fresh.

Taylor only carried the ball 12 times on Sunday but was able to rack up 95 rushing yards on those limited touches. The Colts are seemingly fine with slowly building their star player back up into NFL shape.

That conservative nature will more than likely go out the window against the Panthers. The scariest part of this is Taylor has only gotten better with each game as both yards per attempt and total yardage have only gone up since returning from injury.

With the recent struggles of backup Gardner Minshew and the way this Panthers team is structured, look for the Colts to turn to Taylor early and often to try and capitalize on this weakness.

Taylor has to be salivating at the opportunity to torch this Panthers defense and stake his claim as a top back in the NFL once again. Ejiro Evero's unit has to be ready.