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Monday Night Football: Indianapolis Colts v. Carolina Panthers

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Join the conversation in Battle Red Blog's open thread for Monday Night Football's matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and the Carolina Panthers.

Bank of America Stadium, where gimpy young Equus ferus caballus are fed to large Panthera pardus.
Bank of America Stadium, where gimpy young Equus ferus caballus are fed to large Panthera pardus.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the hunt is on!  The feeble Colts wander aimlessly into the den of the fierce Panthers, who should provide viewers with an powerful example of dominant predation.  At least that's what many Texans fans are hoping to see in a season where Indy is showing severe weakness and just might provide Houston a chance to win a division title for what would likely be a short-lived postseason bridge to nowhere.

Indianapolis Colts (3-4)

Indy has only been able to beat division rivals so far this season.  Given the pathetic state of the AFC South, that doesn't inspire many to think this team will live up to the preseason hype of being a championship contender.  If they lose to the Panthers tonight, your 3-5 Houston Texans will actually share first place in the division with the Colts.

Here is a good take from NFL.com:

After a 27-21 home loss to the Saints, the Colts are now 3-0 versus the horrendous AFC South ... and 0-4 against everyone else. What is going on?

Don't be fooled by the final score of this one, either. Sure, Indy didn't quit. But this game was decided early. Indy was held to 0 -- ZERO -- points in the first half against coordinator Rob Ryan's defense. That's illegal in most states.

Andrew Luck threw two more interceptions -- his fourth multi-pick game in five outings this season. Meanwhile, the run game never got going, the offensive line continues to have issues and the defense was -- once again -- deplorable.

Disharmony and dysfunction abound within this building -- with the latest incident being a reportedly heated conversation between general manager Ryan Grigson and owner Jim Irsay following Sunday's loss. You have to think all this drama up top -- don't forget about all the reported discontent between Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano -- is having a trickle-down effect on the team.

The Colts' next three games certainly aren't easy: at Carolinavs. Denver and (after a bye) at Atlanta. Will this bury Indianapolis? Well, fortunately for the Colts, their division is awful. So it'll take a lot to declare Indy dead.

Still, the team's play is beyond ugly. And barring a MASSIVE turnaround, Indianapolis will be looking for a new coach at season's end.

Carolina Panthers (6-0)

The Panthers lead the NFL in rushing yards per game with 144.7, and they are averaging 27 points per game, which is best for fourth in the league.  Their defense has only allowed an average of 18.3 points per game, which ranks fifth overall in the NFL.  It's a complete team that plays very complimentary football.  They should easily win this game tonight, but many folks probably thought the Packers would have beaten the Broncos last night, and look how that turned out.

Here is the comparison of the two teams from NFL.com:

That's your preview for tonight's tilt between the Colts and the Panthers.  Enjoy the game!

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