Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts - 8/15/21 NFL Picks and Prediction

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The Carolina Panthers will travel to Lucas Oil Stadium to take on the Indianapolis Colts this Sunday afternoon in NFL Preseason action!

The Carolina Panthers will look to bounce back this season after two consecutive 5-11 seasons and it begins with the health of arguably the best running back in the league in Christian McCaffery who missed the majority of last season due to injury.

Offensively, Carolina made some major moves in the off-season to help try and improve an offense that ranked just 24th in scoring offense at 21.9 ppg, starting with a change at QB moving on from Teddy Bridgewater and acquiring Sam Donald from the New York Jets. Carolina no longer has Curtis Samuel, however, Donald does have a solid history with Robby Anderson who played with him in New York and have some talented receivers in David Moore & 2nd round draft pick, Terrance Marshall. The offensively will be centered around McCaffrey, however, with a better offensive line than what he had in New York, Donald could be in position to have a career season with the Panthers.

Defensively, the Panthers have one of the younger defenses in the league, however, they were still decent last season allowing opponents to average just 25.1 ppg. Carolina spent their top pick from last year’s draft in the talented CB, Jaycee Horn, who should have an immediate impact in their secondary and should have an impact player on the end of the land in DE Brian Burns.

The Indianapolis Colts are coming off an impressive 11-5 season last year and despite having a different QB under center after the retirement of Philip Rivers, is set up for a successful season as they should be strong on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, the biggest question mark will under center with the arrival of Carson Wentz. Wentz looked like the real deal just a few years ago, however, after a few tough years in Philadelphia that included injuries and inconsistent play, the Colts are hoping that he can once become an All-Pro. Similar to Sam Donald in Carolina, the Colts should provide Wentz with better production than what he saw his last few years with the Eagles and should have some nice targets with the return of T.Y. Hilton, Michael Pittman Jr., Zach Pascal, & Parris Campbell. In the backfield, the Colts will have Jonathan Taylor who had a monster rookie season last year with 1,169 rushing yards & 11 TD and have a great 3-down back in Nyheim Hines who led the Colts in receptions with 63.

The Indianapolis defense finished last season ranked in the top-10 in scoring defense last season holding opponents to average 22.6 ppg. Indianapolis looked to the draft to help their pass-rush by drafting Kwity Paye (Michigan) & Dayo Odeyingbo (Vanderbilt) with their first two picks in last year’s draft and still have one of the best LB’s in all of the NFL in Darius Leonard.

The Panthers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games as a road underdog and 7-0 ATS in their last 7 road games. The Colts are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games as a home favorite and just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games.

It’s always tough to really know what the head coaches are going to do in the pre-season however, early reports look like both the Panthers and Colts won’t be playing many of their important starters. Personally, I’m looking at the backup QB situation and when I see that the Colts will be rolling with Jacob Eason & Sam Ehlinger, both who have not had any NFL experience while the Panthers will split snaps with P.J. Walker and Will Grier, I’ll take the experience at the QB position and the points. Good Luck!

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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