The Indianapolis Colts look to rebound from a demoralizing week one loss at Chicago, when they take the field on Sunday in their home opener. Stadium will be rocking with nervous energy, as the Colts attempt to get their first win of the season against the surprisingly undefeated Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in overtime at Minnesota in week one. Adrian Peterson made a remarkable return from injury, carrying the ball 17 times, and scoring two touchdowns. The Vikings have won the last three meetings against the Colts, and Peterson ran for 129 yards the last time these two teams met. All-pro defensive end Jared Allen was held without a tackle in week one, and will be chomping at the bit to attack the Colts’ rookie quarterback.
Andrew Luck will be looking to progress from an uneven debut against the Chicago bears in week one. Luck was responsible for four Indianapolis turnovers, throwing three interceptions and fumbling the ball once. In Luck’s defense, he was throwing from behind for much of the game. Luck was sacked three times, and was hit on the run 13 times, due to an over-matched offensive line. The Colts can expect to see similar pressure against the Vikings. Luck did throw for 309 yards and one touchdown in the loss, which was a stat line eerily similar to a former Colts quarterback in his debut. In 1998, Peyton Manning threw for 302 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions in his first game as a pro.
The Vikings have lost five straight non-conference road games, and 13 of the last 15 away games against AFC teams. This team will make it hard for Luck to see much of the field if the can control the clock and keep the ball in Peterson’s hands. The issue for the Colts will be trying to keep AP from breaking a big gain for a long touchdown run. The Colts must try to pressure second-year quarterback Christian Ponder, who threw for 270 yards against the Jaguars, but did not score and fumbled once. The Indianapolis defense has to give up less than the 333 passing yards they allowed in week one, in order to try and avoid starting 0-2 for the second season in a row. Since 1990, only 22 teams who have started the season with two straight losses have made the playoffs.
Prediction – Colts 20, Vikings 19