Sunday, October 28, 2007

Carolina Pregame

Huge game today against the 4-2 Carolina Panthers of the NFC South. The Colts have an oppurtunity to start the season 7-0. How about this: All but one of their opponents (Jacksonville) has been in first place on the day they played the Colts. With games against New England and San Diego coming up it looks like that unfortunate theme will continue.

Injuries of note: Starters Marvin Harrison and Freddy Keiaho are out today. The Panthers are down a couple LBs including Pro Bowler Dan Morgan and they have lost QB Jake Delhomme for the season.

Stat of the day: Vinny Testaverde is playing in his 21st NFL Season. He has thrown 271 TDs and 261 interceptions. Peyton Manning is playing in his 10th NFL season. He has thrown 286 TDs and 142 interceptions.

Prediction: I know very little about the Panthers off the top of my head. Does anyone for that matter? That's the only thing that concerns me about this game. When you take a deeper look at their team you realize that they are the same team they have always been under John Fox. They run the ball frequently and effectively. This sets up to be a repeat of the Jacksonville game. Unlike Jack Del Rio's questionable strategy, I expect Fox to stick with the run. As far as we know, it is still the best way to slow down the Colts. Steve Smith will be good for a score, but it will be the Colts rushing attack that decides the game. Colts 27 - Panthers 19.


chipbennett said...

27-19? That would be six scores for the Panthers, which seems a little high.

The Colts are yielding an average of less than three scores a game (including three total in the past two games - and including what could have been a shutout last week, if not for MJD's kick return trickery).

Granted: the Jags have no Steve Smith and Vinny the Elder is probably on par with David Gerrard (here's to lots of sacks and no injuries).

That said, I would say the Panthers get a TD and a couple FGs, or maybe a couple TDs and a FG - or between 13 and 17 points.

I think the Colts get at least six scores this week, on the order of 3 TDs and 3 FGs, or perhaps 4 TDs and 2 FGs - so somewhere between 30 and 34 points.

Given the way the Colts have been playing, I'm going to say:


Demond Sanders said...

19 points is a touchdown and four field goals. I am basing my prediction off of the fact that they are playing without their best receiver, on short rest on the road against a first place team who is coming off a bye.

I could easily see your prediction taking place. The IndyStar writers all had similar takes. Carolina's wins come over teams with a combined 6-21 record. Also, they are starting Vinny Testaverde.

chipbennett said...

Yeah, oops - I hadn't had my coffee yet, so my on-the-fly algebra was off. (Really, I meant *five* scores... :) )

I don't like to be too homerish with score predictions. I just really think that the Colts won't show the kinds of discipline lapses that have allowed the Panthers to take advantage of other teams en route to their 4-2 record.

In fact, the Colts have been playing some of the most disciplined ball I remember them playing. (If only we could get Diem to dispense with the false starts.)

The Colts are at least +1 in turnover differential in this game, conservatively. I think Vinny gets picked at least once - and if Carr makes an appearance, he's good for at least one sack-fumble.

Fletcher/Utect should see plenty of playing time; as long as both of them protect the ball, the Colts win the turnover battle.

I've not looked at it in-depth, but I believe that Carolina really feeds off of turnovers for their scoring. I don't think they get that chance today.

We'll see, shortly!

John said...

Some of us will see shortly; others of us have volunteer commitments at 1pm on Sundays. Bummer. (My only defense is that it was spring when I signed up for this arrangement - I wasn't thinking about what Sundays @ 1pm would mean when fall arrived.) (I can't even listen to the radio!)

Keep me in your thoughts as you enjoy the game.