CHARLOTTE – Kenny Moore II had the kind of game that'll long be remembered in Colts history.
And probably in the nightmares of Bryce Young.
Moore on Sunday became the first Colts player to have two pick-sixes in a single game, with the veteran cornerback dashing 49 and then 66 yards on twin interceptions of the 2023 No. 1 overall pick in the second and fourth quarters, respectively. Those 14 points were the difference in the Colts' 27-13 win Week 9 over the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.
No Colts player had previously scored two defensive touchdowns in a game, too. It'd been over two years since the NFL saw a defensive player score twice (Buccaneers safety Mike Edwards, Week 2 of the 2021 season), underscoring the impressive rarity of Moore's achievement.
Both of Moore's pick-sixes came in critical situations. The first came deep into the second quarter, with defensive ends Isaiah Land and Jake Martin pressuring Young, who fluttered a pass Moore jumped in front of and ran into the end zone. The touchdown put the Colts up by a score of 20-3 at halftime.
And the second came only a few plays after Young connected with tight end Hayden Hurst for a 48-yard gain on third and long, swinging momentum back to the Colts just as it appeared the Panthers had gained some traction in the game. Instead of Carolina making things a one-score game in the fourth quarter, the Colts opened up a three-possession lead.
The Colts' defense, even before Moore's first pick-six, set the tone with a smothering performance in the first half. Young, the 2023 No. 1 overall pick, completed three of six passes for 10 yards and was sacked twice – by DeForest Buckner and a Kwity Paye-Eric Johnson II duo – over the Panthers' first four drives. Most of Young's first half production came when the Colts' defense backed off a bit with under a minute left in the second quarter – at least until Moore picked off Young.
Carolina's lone points in the first two quarters came on an Eddy Piñeiro field goal, which ended a short-field drive for the Panthers.
Running back Jonathan Taylor churned out 41 yards on 11 carries and caught all five of his targets for 22 yards in the first half, and was complemented by 25 yards on six carries for fellow back Zack Moss. Minshew kept the ball out of harm's way with a workmanlike 12 completions on 17 attempts for 97 yards with a touchdown, which came on a screen pass to Taylor.
Matt Gay connected on a chip shot field goal as well as a 57-yarder in the first half. The Colts improved to 4-0 this season when not turning the ball over on offense.
Wide receiver Josh Downs (knee) and cornerback Tony Brown (concussion) sustained injuries in the first half and did not return. Tight end Drew Ogletree (foot) exited in the second half and also did not return.
The Panthers generated a 77-yard drive ending with a Young touchdown to wide receiver D.J. Chark in the third quarter, bringing the score to 20-10 heading into the fourth quarter. The Colts gained just 24 yards on their two third quarter drives.
Linebacker Segun Olubi, starting in place of Zaire Franklin (knee), added an interception – the first of his career – in the fourth quarter.
Moore, though, made sure the Colts headed back to Indianapolis with a 4-5 record. The Colts will now hop on a plane to Germany to face the New England Patriots with a shot at returning from Europe, and into their bye week, with a .500 record.