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Know Your Foe: Indianapolis Colts

Gardner Minshew

CHARLOTTE – The Panthers are looking to take their first win and make it into a streak this weekend.

Carolina (1-6, 0-2 NFC South) hosts the Indianapolis Colts (3-5, 2-2 AFC South) at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday for a 4:05 p.m. game. The matchup will be televised on CBS.

The Panthers are 5-2 all-time against the Colts, including a 2-1 record at home. The Panthers lost their last matchup against Indianapolis, 38-6, on the road in 2019. More on the series history can be found here.

Here's what to know about the Colts:

Three-game losing streak, recent loss to Saints

After starting the year 3-2 behind rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson, the Colts have gone winless in their last three contests (against Jacksonville, Cleveland, and New Orleans) and won't get Richardson back this year after he underwent a season-ending shoulder procedure.

Indianapolis dropped a 38-27 game at home to the Saints last week, as Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew threw the ball over 40 times (23-of-41 for 213 yards with two touchdowns and an interception), and their defense wasn't able to stop Derek Carr and the Saints.

Dealing with injuries across the team (but especially on defense), the Colts allowed Carr to throw for 310 yards and a pair of touchdown passes against a depleted secondary.

"As a competitor and as, I feel like I am, a leader on this team, I take full responsibility for the plays that occurred," Indianapolis cornerback Tony Brown said in an article posted to the team's website. "Great game by the Saints, they had great play calls, Derek Carr, great throws. We gotta get better, I gotta get better as a player."

Jonathan Taylor

Taylor back with top-10 rushing offense

Running back Jonathan Taylor's impact has grown since he returned to the field in October, putting up a season-high 95 yards on 12 attempts against New Orleans. He'd taken 18 carries 75 yards against the Browns the week before after slowly working back into the offense amid contract talks and a lingering ankle injury.

Taylor and Zack Moss have played roles as Indianapolis has recorded the NFL's ninth-most productive rushing attack (1,032 yards in eight games), paired with 12 touchdowns on the ground, fourth-most in the league.

Moss has run for 589 yards on 125 attempts, averaging 4.7 yards per carry with five touchdowns.

In the passing game, Minshew has completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns against five interceptions, as the Colts' passing offense comes into Sunday ranked 13th in the league. He's often connecting with wide receivers Michael Pittman Jr. (529 yards on 50 receptions) and Josh Downs (473 yards on 40 receptions).

E.J. Speed, Tyjae Spears, DeForest Buckner

A look at the defense

The Colts' defense has been depleted by injuries and has given up the most points in the NFL, ranked at the bottom of the league in scoring defense.

They're struggling against the pass and the run, ranked 25th in passing defense and 23rd in rushing defense.

As for players for the Panthers to hone in on, linebacker Zaire Franklin leads the team by a mile with 102 total tackles. The next leading tackler, linebacker Julian Blackmon, trails by nearly half with 56 on the year.

Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner leads with 4.0 sacks and two forced fumbles this season, including a strip-sack against Carr in last week's loss to the Saints.