If you looked at the numbers, Bryce Young and the Carolina Panthers should’ve eaten against the Colts – a defense that heading into Sunday’s matchup was giving up a league-worst 28.6 points per game. Instead Young and the Panthers’ offense took a step back, leading to a 13-27 loss to Indianapolis.
Young, who finished the game 24-39 for 173 yards, threw three interceptions, including two pick-sixes to cornerback Kenny Moore.
It was a performance opposite of what was expected coming off of his game-winning drive last week against the Texans.
“I can’t do that,” Young said after the loss. “I have to be better. Our defense played great. People were in positions. We turned the ball over three times. Two of them turned to 14 points. That’s how you lose a game. Everyone else around did a great job and it’s on me.”
On a day when a banged-up Panthers’ defense held a top ten Colts’ offense to under 200 yards and a rushing attack that averages 129 yards a game to just 78, it was the offense, and more specially Bryce Young, who dropped the ball.
Bryce was supposed to cook this week. This was supposed to be the game where he eclipsed the 300 passing yard mark for the first time. Instead the Colts defense scored more points than the Panthers’ offense.
The good news according to head coach Frank Reich, is that the team doesn’t have a lot of time to stew over this loss as they’ll head to Chicago in three days.
“This is a step backwards for us as an offense,” Reich said. “We were starting. We thought we had several games in a row where we’re making good strides, and then we went out and laid an egg today offensively. Credit the Colts’ defense. Credit Gus Bradley and their players, how they played us. We have to do a better job, but it was one game.
“The good news is that we play Thursday. No one is going to feel sorry for us, so we’ve got to get back to work. It’s a quick turnaround. We’ve got to learn from our mistakes and get ready for Thursday night football.”
Now what’s left to see is how Bryce responds to the worst game of his young professional career. Will he bounce back in impressive fashion or continue an uncharacteristic downward spiral.