CHARLOTTE – For the first time under Chuck Pagano, the Colts have lost three consecutive games.
Carolina’s 29-26 overtime win over the Colts on Monday night gave the Panthers their NFL-best 11th straight regular season victory.
The Colts (3-5) will now return to Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday afternoon for a 4:25 p.m. EST kickoff with the Denver Broncos (7-0).
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
ANOTHER SLUGGISH START – Before the ball had even crossed into Carolina’s side of the field Monday night, the Colts were down 10-0. Two early turnovers from the Indianapolis offense led to an early 10-0 deficit and left the visitors to once again play catch up. It marked the second straight week, the Colts were down two scores before recording a first down.
TURNOVERS TELL THE STORY – The Colts had four turnovers on Monday night leading to 19 of the Panthers’ 29 points. Three Andrew Luck interceptions proved to be very costly. After leading the Colts to a 16-point fourth-quarter comeback, Luck’s overtime interception put the Panthers immediately into field goal range.
DEFENSE LIMITS PANTHERS– For a second straight week, the Colts defense was left in some non-advantageous situations. The unit was able to come up with three turnovers against Carolina. Thanks to several stops down the stretch, the Colts were able to keep themselves with a sliver of hope.
ROBERT MATHIS CONTINUES TO APPLY PRESSURE – Monday was a two-sack night for the Colts all-time sack leader. Mathis once again was in the starting lineup and is giving the Colts the pass rushing presence they missed for all of last season. The Colts will need Mathis to continue to be at his best in the coming weeks with more elite quarterbacks on the schedule.
AFC SOUTH LEAD – At the midway point of the 2015 season, the Colts sit at 3-5. Indianapolis is tied with the Houston Texans atop the AFC South. Thanks to their 3-0 record in the division, the Colts currently hold the tiebreaker over Houston in the AFC South.
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