The Indianapolis Colts fell to the Carolina Panthers in Indianapolis as the Panthers snapped a 12 game road skid. This marks the first time the Colts have started 0-11 since 1986.
The Colts put up a good fight against the 3-8 Panthers, as the defense played hard to keep the game close, but offensive mistakes late in the game kept the Colts out of the win column for yet another week.
The Colts were in a position to win late in the game, but backup QB Curtis Painter missed several open receivers that would have given the Colts the lead. Painter is now 0-8 as a starting quarterback.
Painter completed just 15-of-29 passes for 226 yards, one touchdown, and 2 interceptions. His rating was 60.4 on the day.
The Colts had some bright points in their game, one being the tough play of the defense, another the offense’s newly-discovered running game.
Donald Brown led the rushing attack with 80 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown, the first offensive touchdown for the Colts since Week 8. Brown averaged 5.7 yards per carry.
Joseph Addai returned from a hamstring injury to start, but produced onlly 23 yards on 7 carries, and was replaced by Brown early in the game. Addai seemed to be struggling to find his stride after being out of the lineup for several weeks.
As a team, the Colts continue to average over 4.5 yards per carry on the ground, turning an average of 4.6 yards per carry against the Panthers.
Reggie Wayne made a huge impact on offense, despite the Colts touch-and-go air attack. He caught 5 passes for 122 yards and an impressive 56 yard touchdown. He also drew a big pass-interference penalty that set up Donald Brown’s touchdown run.
Rookie QB Cam Newton turned in a respectable day on the field, as he completed 20-of-27 passes for 208 yards. He also rushed 9 times for 53 yards and touchdown. His passer rating was 95.9.
Jonathan Stewart led the Panthers’ stellar ground attack with 10 carries for 70 yards for an average of 7 yards per carry.
DeAngelo Williams complemented Stewart with 69 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns.
The Panthers gained 201 total yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground on 35 carries. They averaged 5.7 yards per carry as a team.
Veteran receiver Steve Smith hauled in 3 catches for 68 yards, including a big gain of 30 yards.
The Panthers travel to Tampa Bay next week to take on the Buccaneers.
The Colts’ schedule is only getting harder, as their next two games are away games versus New England and Baltimore, before returning home to host divisonal opponent Tennessee.