Each week during the season we’ll talk with the FanSided editor who covers the Colts’ upcoming opponent and try to get a better understanding of the enemy before us. This time around, we sneak our Trojan Horse up next to the Carolina Panthers’ lair to talk with Slate Schwertner of “Cat Crave.”
1) The Panthers have been in a lot of games and have a high-powered offense, but the defense seems to let them down. Have you seen any improvements on D that give you hope for the future?
"I think the defense was dealt a bad hand this season. The loss of Beason and Davis royally screwed us to the point that the only way we could fix our defense is through the next draft. Now, the team has began switching up formations; they are throwing in 4-3, 3-4, nickel and dime sets in order to get a new thing going."
2) Which Panthers players have surprised you the most (good or bad) so far this season?
"James Anderson is the player I like the most. Without Thomas Davis and Jon Beason on the defense, Anderson was expected to step up and be a dominate linebacker, and he has done just that.Also, I’m loving Brandon LaFell this season. With no “for sure” no. 2 receiver behind Steve Smith, LaFell has stepped it up and developed a connection with Cam."
3) What key match-ups should we keep an eye on this week?
"Our O-Line and you D-Line. The Panthers can win this game if they keep Freeney and Mathis at bay. Look for a match-up in our Run defense vs your running game. Our defense has been terrible against the run and this could be a big game for y’all."
4) Cam Newton has looked pretty darned solid most of the season. How good do you think he can be?
"Honestly, if we can get a defense to play on the opposite side of the ball, the sky is the limit. This kid has more talent in his pinky than the entire roster of the Cleveland Browns. So yeah, he can win a Super Bowl in Charlotte."
5) Finally, what are your predictions for the game?
"35-21 Panthers, while the Colts rack it all up on the ground."