What We Saw: Week 9

The What We Saw team recaps the action from a wild Week 9

Colts @ Panthers

Final Score: Colts 27, Panthers 13

Writer: Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL on Twitter)


Carolina’s offense looked absolutely putrid in the first half, earning only 63 yards from scrimmage while Bryce Young was under constant pressure and couldn’t get rid of the ball on time. He threw a pick six to end probably his worst half as a professional. On their first drive of the second half, Carolina drove down the field for a 15 play, 77 yard scoring drive that resulted in a touchdown pass to D.J. Chark Jr. It was mostly thanks to Miles Sanders, who earned 40 yards from scrimmage on five touches and he looked like a man reborn for a few plays. It was Carolina’s longest drive of the year by both yards and plays.

Things were looking up for Carolina. Despite the poor first half, they were only down 10 with the ball entering the 4th quarter. Young then converted 3rd and 11 deep inside Carolina territory with a strike to Hayden Hurst that went for 48 yards. Carolina was in business. Then, Young made a huge mistake. He sailed a throw to Sanders in the flat, and Kenny Moore II picked it off, returning it for his second pick-six of the game. Game. Over.

Three Up

  • Kenny Moore II – With four of his six sisters in attendance, Moore had two pick-sixes off Bryce Young.
  • Miles Sanders – Looked explosive in the second half once Carolina finally started putting the ball in his hands

Three Down

  • Bryce Young – Two pick-sixes thrown by the rookie singlehandedly put this game out of reach
  • Adam Thielen – With Young struggling, Thielen was often nowhere to be found


Indianapolis Colts




Gardner Minshew: 17/26, 127 yards, TD, sack | 5 carries, 5 yards

In a game that Indy had in hand pretty early on, Minshew wasn’t asked to do much, and that’s okay. He did enough to win the football game, especially against a stingy Panthers pass defense. The Colts attempted a tush push on first and goal from the 2, and as you can imagine it didn’t result in a touchdown. A few plays later on 3rd and goal, Minshew rolled out and stumbled while trying to throw, resulting in an incompletion. He later overthrew a wide open receiver on 3rd and 10 while on the run, which would have resulted in a 1st down. But, again, none of it mattered, because the Colts were never really in danger of losing this game. Losing Josh Downs certainly hurt, so keep an eye on that injury moving forward.


Running Back


Jonathan Taylor: 18 carries, 47 yards | 5 targets, 5 receptions, 22 yards, TD

As I mentioned before, Carolina’s defense is sneaky good. They kept Taylor bottled up for most of the game except for his one touchdown score. The score was the result of a nice play by Taylor to stay upright, spin, and extend the ball across the goal line. He earned the score. The work in the passing game was nice to see and helped boost his fantasy output on an otherwise mediocre day. Honestly, I’m a bit surprised to see the box score – I thought for sure he had run for more than just 47 yards on the ground. I really liked how fresh he looked. He’s got a tough matchup next week vs the Patriots, but this was a solid step in the right direction for Taylor.


Zack Moss: 7 carries, 26 yards

Zack Moss took a backseat to Taylor in this game, clearly playing second fiddle to the Colts’ stud RB. He also didn’t get any goal line carries, as one went to Minshew and the other went to Taylor. We knew Taylor’s return would mean the end of Moss’ stud fantasy output and today was a huge dud.



Wide Receiver/Tight End


Isaiah McKenzie: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 12 yards, fumble (lost)

I only listed McKenzie first in this section because his muffed punt early in the game was the first notable play I saw by this unit. It looked like that was going to be the only play worth mentioning for McKenzie until Josh Downs was knocked out of the game with a knee injury. McKenzie had to step into the slot receiver role for the rest of the game, and while he didn’t do much it’s still worth noting.

McKenzie did burn his defender on one play, ending up wide open while streaking down the sideline, but Minshew did not look his way and dumped it off instead. Had the ball been thrown McKenzie’s way it likely would have been an easy score.

As I mention below in Josh Downs’ blurb, keep an eye on Downs’ status this week. The Colts play the Patriots in Germany next week, and McKenzie has a history of performing well against New England in his career.


Michael Pittman: 8 targets, 8 receptions, 64 yards

Pittman came close to scoring on a WR screen in the red zone that he took down to the two yard line. He extended the ball out to try to cross the goal line but was too far away to convert it. He was penalized for a false start on 3rd and goal at the two yard line a few plays later, but Jonathan Taylor was able to score on the next play, so no harm, no foul. Pittman took a huge hit on a ball thrown across the middle and wasn’t able to bring it in for the catch, however the play drew an unnecessary roughness penalty so the incompletion didn’t count against his line. This was a game where the Colts’ offense didn’t need to do literally anything to earn the win (their defense scored 14 points), so those who started Pittman in fantasy should be happy with this otherwise modest result.


Josh Downs: 1 target, 1 reception, 10 yards

Downs injured his knee at some point in the 2nd quarter – I’ll admit, I don’t recall the play and didn’t see it. He ended up missing the rest of the game as a result of the injury. Isaiah McKenzie took over for him as the slot receiver in this offense. Keep an eye on this situation, as McKenzie has a history of flashing against the Patriots (Indy’s opponent in Week 10) from his time in Buffalo.


Drew Ogletree: 3 targets, 1 reception, 19 yards

Kylen Granson: 2 targets

Alec Pierce: 2 targets


Carolina Panthers




Bryce Young: <QB1 Stats>

Young had an absolute nightmare of a first half, completing only seven passes for 35 yards. He faced constant pressure from Indy’s front four, with poor protection up front leading to three first half sacks. Carolina punted on their first four drives, gaining only seven yards from scrimmage on 14 plays. Young ended the first half with a terrible pick-six on an awful decision to throw the ball out to Hubbard in the flat. The defender jumped the route and took it to the house. After the kickoff, Young was sacked for the third time and Carolina smartly decided to let the clock run out on the half.

In the second half, Young put together one really good drive and a half before reverting to his bad ways. He led them down the field for the score on their first drive out of the half, converting 4th and 1 through the air and throwing a touchdown on 3rd and goal. On their next drive, one play after connecting with Hayden Hurst for a 48 yard gain on 3rd and 11, Young threw his second pick-six of the day to Kenny Moore II. For a moment it looked like Carolina was going to claw their way back into this game but instead the air came completely out of the building. At this point, with 13:40 remaining in the 4th quarter, the game was essentially over.

Young threw a third interception with around five minutes to play while under pressure once again. The pressure can’t totally be blamed for all of his struggles in this game, as Young made some really poor decisions, but it certainly contributed to his downfall. It will be interesting to see how the rookie bounces back from this game.


  • Lowered his shoulder against a defender trying to convert third and six. Came up a yard short
  • Oline struggling mightily against this defensive front
  • Four punts on first four posessions. Fourth came after getting sacked for 10 yards on 1st down
  • Scrambled on 3rd and 5 to extend a drive into the red zone
  • Pick-six right before the half. Awful decision to throw it late to the flat, easy undercut by the defender for the score
  • Huge 4th down conversion to Tommy Tremble for 11 yards
  • TD pass to Chark on 3rd and goal, first drive of the 2nd half. Evaded pressure and made a nice throw
  • 3rd and 11, hit a wide open Hayden Hurst for a 48 yard gain. Corner jumped the short route
  • Followed it up with a sailed throw to Sanders, his second pick six to Kenny Moore on the day
  • 3rd INT was sailed over one covered receiver and short of an open one. Not even close. Was unable to step into the throw due to pressure


Running Back


Chuba Hubbard: 16 carries, 58 yards | 6 targets, 4 receptions, 9 yards, fumble

I have never been a Chuba believer and this game did nothing to change my mind. Chuba had one really nice 20 yard run where he hit a gaping hole hard and exploded through it for a 20 yard gain. Nobody touched him until yard 19 and he went right down. Other than that one play, it was a 2.5 yard per carry average on the day for Chuba. He just is unable to make plays on his own and, on a Panthers team that struggles up front, he’ll just never be a guy you can count on. He has the speed but really nothing else and today showed that.


Miles Sanders: 6 carries, 39 yards | 5 targets, 3 receptions, 22 yards

Sanders only had two touches in the first half but the offense finally started to move once he got more involved. On their first drive out of the half, Sanders exploded for 40 scrimmage yards on three carries and two receptions. It was the best he’s looked all season, looking explosive with the ball in his hands. Unfortunately he wasn’t really involved much after that. It was brief flash of brilliance and then a fade back into oblivion. I will be checking my waiver wires to see if anyone bailed on him and you should too.


Raheem Blackshear: 1 carry |  1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Adam Thielen: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 29 yards

On a day when Bryce Young struggled to stand in the pocket and throw the ball, Thielen was a nonfactor. He had one catch on one target in the first half, and two of his catches came in garbage time. There was one sliver of hope on Carolina’s first drive of the second half – Thielen was open over the middle of the field, Young targeted him, but the ball was short and Thielen didn’t really make an effort to come out of the end zone to get it. He complained for a holding call but didn’t get it. Chalk this up as a bad QB day.


Hayden Hurst: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 54 yards

A 48 yard catch and run was his only notable play of the day.


D.J. Chark Jr.: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 9 yards, TD

Caught a three yard touchdown on the left sideline but was otherwise a non-factor.


Stephen Sullivan: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 28 yards

On a day where Bryce Young struggled, Stephen Sullivan was a surprising beneficiary. He led the team in targets (three), receptions (two), and yards (16) in the first half. He made a nice catch and run in traffic for a first down. Late in the 2nd half, Sullivan took a big hit and looked to be injured. He stayed down on the sideline for a minute and then immediately went to the tent. I was impressed by Sullivan.


Tommy Tremble: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 12 yards

Jonathan Mingo: 4 targets, 1 reception, 5 yards

Terrace Marshall Jr.: 1 target


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