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Eyes in the Backfield: Colts at Panthers
Watch for shared loads. Addai and Keith split their
carries almost evenly on Monday night, and it seems Addai’s injury coupled with
Keith’s productivity have led the Colts down the same path the followed last
year with Addai and Rhodes. Keith was in the game
not only for many carries, but significant ones as well, getting a TD and other
3rd down runs.
4.) Watch for Dwight Freeney to get multiple sacks.
Freeney has been increasingly disruptive this year, and teams are
compensating by throwing shorter routes and doubling him at all times.
The Colts are 2nd in the league in defensive passing yards per
attempt, while near the bottom of the list of completion %.
This is tough to do, but means that teams are throwing extremely short.
Freeney is a big part of the reason why.
Watch Marvin Harrison. After just catches and
limited playing time on Monday, questions remain about his health.
The Colts need a healthy Marvin to stretch the field, so check the number
of consecutive plays he’s in on.
8.) Watch out for maximum advantage.
I can’t imagine that the Panthers could ever have a greater leg up on the
Colts than they do this week. They are coming off a
bye and playing at home, while Indy is playing on the road for the second time
in 6 days. If the Panthers can’t win this game, then
they are probably incapable of beating the Colts at all.
10.) Watch Steve Smith vs. the
Colts secondary. Smith is a big, physical WR who can
dominate a game, but on Sunday he has to match up with a hard hitting secondary.
Smith would have to have a huge game against the NFL’s #1 pass defense
for the Panthers to win.
Watch for a high scoring affair highlighted by outstanding quarterback play from
David Carr, followed
by the apocalypse.
14.) Watch for the random, back-breaking fumble.
Fumbles are football death. A big reason the
Colts are so hot is that they have fumbled only three times in six games, losing
only one. Remember Reggie Wayne’s fumble run back by
Jason David? No way this fumble-less streak
continues, right? Meanwhile the Panthers' Foster has three fumbles in less than
16.) Look for Manning
to amaze the
fans. The NFC South is used to quarterbacks the likes of Michael Vick,
Brad Johnson, Aaron Brooks, and Chris Weinke. The rare visit from Manning
must be like the time Joe Montana played in the Hoosier Dome. For the record:
Montana and Jerry Rice teamed on a
58-yard touchdown pass with 5 minutes, 21 seconds left to propel the Niners to a
30-24 victory in the 1989 season opener.
18.) Watch for
the big pick. Vinny always throws a pick or two, and usually at the worst
possible moment. It’s the main reason he never stuck around anywhere for
very long. Remarkably, the Colts have 8 interceptions in 6 games by 8
different players. They are on pace to top the 15 interceptions the
defense notched in 2006.