The Colts dominated the Panthers 38-6, and the stars of the show was the special teams unit.
Special teams have been an issue all year long for the Colts. They have struggled in all aspects, especially in the kicking game. But they were absolutely fantastic today in a brilliant victory over Carolina.
Chase McLaughlin has done a decent job steadying the kicking game woes. Today he made his only field goal attempt, a 35-yarder, and made all five of his extra points. Better than that is the blocking for the kicks were good up front. That has been an issue this season.
Rigoberto Sanchez was only needed three times today. His punts went an average of 46.7 yards and he had one downed inside the five. The punt coverage unit also did a pretty good job of not letting Carolina get long returns.
The reason this unit gets the extra plus is because of how historically great they were. Nyheim Hines broke the Colts franchise record for punt return yards with 195 on only 3 returns. He took two of them back to the house for touchdowns too.
Since I’ve been a Colts fan, I’ve never seen a better game from a returner. Hines used his explosiveness and speed to hit the holes that were open in the field. He should absolutely be the primary returner next year too. His fumbling issues seem to be a thing of the past.
It’s a shame the special teams didn’t play like this earlier in the season. If they would have, maybe they would be playing in January.