CHARLOTTE (BLACK & BLUE KICKOFF LIVE) — Head coach Frank Reich welcomes his former team to town as the Panthers host the Colts in week 9.
After getting off to a rough start in his first year in 2018, Indianapolis recovered, becoming just the third team in league history to make the playoffs after a 1-5 start.
He made the playoffs again in 2020, but lost in the first round. Reich wouldn’t make the playoffs after that and the Colts fired him nine games into the 2022 season with a 3-8-1 start.
This would’ve been the second week in a row that Bryce Young faces a fellow rookie quarterback; however, Anthony Richardson is out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.
Instead, they welcome quarterback Garnder Minshew who lost at home last week to the Saints.
A big offensive weapon for the Colts is Jonathon Taylor and their running game. They are sixth in the NFL in yards per attempt (4.5) and inside the top 10 in rushing yards per game (129).
Carolina, on the other hand, ranks in the bottom five in both of those categories. The Panthers will look to carry that defensive momentum from last week into week 9 to slow down a strong ground game.
On offense, the Panthers have been consistently improving with Adam Thielen as Bryce Young’s top target.
Thielen leads the team in all major receiving categories and has more than double the next closest receiver in targets, catches, yards and touchdowns.
Lucky for the Panthers, the Colts allow the most points per game (28.6) to opposing teams. A steady offense and a strong defensive front are two major keys to success for a week 9 victory.
The Panthers have won five of the seven games all-time against the Colts. However, the last time they played in 2019, the Panthers lost 38-6 in Indianapolis… at the hands of Frank Reich.
Is a Reich revenge game in store for Sunday?
The showdown at Bank of America starts at 4:05 p.m. on CBS.