4 critical observations from Carolina Panthers’ putrid defeat vs. Colts in Week 9

It was a afternoon to forget...

Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers' defense held its own

We’ll end on a positive.

This was expected to be an offensive shootout with the Indianapolis Colts' offense putting up points at will even with backup Gardener Minshew at the helm. Instead, Ejiro Evero’s unit held them to just 13 points and 198 yards of total offense.

For the first time this season, the Carolina Panthers also held a team to under 100 yards rushing.

Even from the 13 points allowed, that should have only been nine as safety Xavier Woods was the recipient of an egregious flag by referee Bill Vinovich and his crew for unnecessary roughness. This came after a perfect hit on Michael Pittman Jr. - a call that even the wide receiver himself questioned.

This is a script Panthers fans are used to seeing by now. The defense does its utmost to keep the team in the game, only to be let down by a terrible offensive play - something that was prevalent under Matt Rhule and not much seems to have changed under the leadership of Frank Reich.

The Panthers' defense has another chance to impress on Thursday. They’ll potentially be facing rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent - starting just his fourth NFL game coming off a four-turnover performance against the New Orleans Saints.

If the Panthers have any chance of winning, they’ll need to likely force multiple turnovers and score some defensive touchdowns.