The Indianapolis Colts are entering Week 9 at 3-5 and a big reason why is Indy’s underwhelming defense. After a 2022 season where the defense was a reliable unit for the Colts, the group has been disappointing in 2023. They’ve been struggling against the run, which can be attributed to not having Grover Stewart, and they’ve been abysmal against the pass.
Unfortunately, many people saw this coming. The Colts traded Stephon Gilmore this offseason, and after Isaiah Rodgers Sr. was suspended by the league, Indy released him. That left Indianapolis with a thin, inexperienced cornerback room made up mostly of first- and second-year players. Add in the injuries to starters Dallis Flowers and JuJu Brents, and it has really be a struggle for the secondary.
Luckily, the Colts will have a chance to get right in Week 9. They’ll be facing the Carolina Panthers. Not only is this a great game for Indy to snap its three-game losing streak (Carolina just won its first game of the season), but this is a great opportunity for the secondary to put a good game together. Just as the Panthers struggle to win games, they really struggle to pass the ball.
Can Colts secondary have a good game against struggling Panthers offense?
Carolina is averaging just 194.3 passing yards a game, 24th in the NFL. It has been a struggle for No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young, however, the blame hasn’t really fallen on his shoulders. Young hasn’t been given much to work with, throwing to a group of weapons that don’t get much separation. Additionally, the Panthers’ offensive coaching staff has received criticism for the passing scheme as well.
While fans typically get going for a good strength-on-strength matchup, Carolina’s passing attack vs. Indy’s secondary will be a weakness-on-weakness battle where something has to give. If the Panthers, who have passed for more than 200 yards in a single game just twice this season (once with Bryce Young), can get things going through the air against the Colts, then there’s really no hope for Indy’s secondary.