Indianapolis Colts 0-6-0-17-3 — 26
Carolina Panthers 10-0-7-6-6 — 29
Panthers Fend Off Wild Colts Charge to Win in OT, Remain Unbeaten
Graham Gano banged through a 42-yard field goal on the Panthers’ first overtime possession and followed it up promptly with a game-winning 52-yarder as the Panthers topped the Colts in overtime to remain undefeated at 7-0.
The game was a wild affair. With rain falling steadily for much of the contest, both teams struggled on offense for the majority of the first three quarters of the night. The first half saw four combined turnovers and just over 200 combined yards of offense. When the rain gave way a bit in the third quarter, the Panthers started to turn it into the rout, as Cam Newton provided just enough offensive firepower to lead the Panthers to a 23-6 fourth-quarter lead behind a couple of touchdown throws.
But then Andrew Luck flipped a switch, and the Colts seemed to follow his lead. Indy scored 20 straight points in the fourth quarter and overtime to actually take the lead early in the extra session. On the second Colts possession of OT, Andrew Luck had a chance to win it for Indianapolis but threw an interception to Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly. Gano was able to follow up moments later with his game-winner and the fans in Carolina went home happy yet again.
Despite the poor playing conditions, both quarterbacks were able to finish with respectable numbers. Luck went 23-47 for 231 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Newton was 16-35 for 248 yards, two touchdowns and a pick. Newton connected nicely with tight end Greg Olsen for six receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown. Andre Johnson had four catches for 81 yards and a score for Indy. Rushing leaders in the game were Frank Gore (22 carries for 70 yards) and Jonathan Stewart (24 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown).
With the win the Panthers ensured that 2015 would be the first season in which four unbeaten NFL teams remained after Week 8. Watch all of the highlights below.
Colts Stage Wild Fourth-Quarter Comeback to Force OT; Vinatieri Gives Indy Advantage
Adam Vinatieri capped regulation with a 24-yard field goal at the gun, and the Colts scored 17 straight to close out regulation and tie their Monday Night Football game with the Panthers, 23-23.
Then ,on the Colts’ first possession of overtime, Vinatieri hit a 50-yard field goal attempt to give Indy the lead in the extra session.
Coby Fleener Hauls in Late TD as Colts Make Comeback Attempt
Coby Fleener caught an 8-yard touchdown from Andrew Luck to bring the Colts to within 23-20 with just over two minutes to play on Monday night.
Andre Johnson Scores to Bring Indy Closer in the Fourth Quarter
The Colts and Andrew Luck ended an 86-yard drive, their finest drive of the night, with an Andre Johnson 18-yard touchdown reception from Andrew Luck. Luck had struggled all game and is now 11-23 for 126 yards and two interceptions.
Cam Newton Hooks Up With Corey Brown as Panthers Break It Open
Cam Newton threw a 30-yard strike to wideout Corey Brown as the Panthers have run away with it at Bank of America Stadium and lead the Colts 23-6 in the fourth quarter. It was Newton’s second touchdown pass of the night.
Cam Newton Throws Touchdown Pass to Greg Olsen at End of Third Quarter
After fumbling at the Colts 1-yard line on a second-and-goal play to give Indianapolis the ball in the waning moments of the third quarter, Cam Newton followed up on the very next possession with a big play.
Newton hit tight end Greg Olsen with a 27-yard touchdown throw to increase the Panthers’ lead to 17-6 with 14 seconds to play in the third quarter.
Panthers Holding on to Slim Halftime Lead Over Colts in Sloppy Game
The rain has been falling all night, creating less than ideal conditions for both Carolina and visiting Indianapolis. Two Colts turnovers in the opening two and a half minutes led to 10 Panthers points on a touchdown run by running back Jonathan Stewart and a Graham Gano field goal.
The team stats are eerily similar for both squads. The two teams combined for four turnovers (two each) and just 10 first downs in the first half of play. Indy racked up 114 yards of total offense, and Carolina 128. Andrew Luck was 4-10 for 37 yards and an interception, while Cam Newton went 6-17 for 88 yards to go along with a pick.
Frank Gore got himself going a bit on the ground for the Colts, gaining 51 yards on 14 carries, while Panthers wideout Ted Ginn Jr. caught one bomb from Cam Newton at the end of the half for his only catch, a 48-yard reception. Despite the wet conditions, neither kicker has missed a field goal; Adam Vinatieri has knocked in both of his tries for Indy, while Graham Gano started the scoring for the night off by making his only attempt.
Panthers Fumble Leads to Another Vinatieri Field Goal
Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart fumbled after taking a handoff from Cam Newton, but the Colts were only able to push the ball for six yards on the ensuing drive. Adam Vinatieri hit his second field goal of the game, a 34-yarder, to pull the Colts to within 10-6.
Vinatieri Puts Colts on the Board in Carolina
Adam Vinatieri nailed a 47-yard field goal to bring the Colts to within 10-3 early in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium.
Panthers Capitalize on Another Indy Turnover as Jonathan Stewart Scores a Rushing TD
Jonathan Stewart capped an 11-play, 37 yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown plunge following the Colts’s second turnover in the opening minutes of Monday night’s game. Carolina leads 10-0 at home.
Andrew Luck Throws Pick to Charles Tillman
Andrew Luck threw an interception to Charles “Peanut” Tillman, and Indianapolis has turned it over twice in the opening three minutes of the night.
Panthers Strike First After Colts Turnover
Graham Gano knocked in a 39-yard field goal after the Colts fumbled the second snap of the game deep in their own territory. Carolina leads at home, 3-0.
The Panthers and Colts face off on Sunday as two first-place teams. The two teams’ similarities end there.
Carolina is one of a record five undefeated teams entering play in Week 8. The Colts and Andrew Luck are just lucky they play in the worst division in football.
For Indy, the going has been touch. But the Colts and their head coach-quarterback tandem of Chuck Pagano and Andrew Luck have made some deep postseason runs before, and are not giving up hope just yet.
Check back here for live scoring updates, stats and highlights throughout the game.