Colts 23 vs Vikings 20
FG B.Walsh 51 yd. Field Goal Drive: 12 plays, 44 yards in 7:12
TD D.Allen 3 yd. pass from A.Luck (A.Vinatieri kick is good) Drive: 13 plays, 80 yards in 6:59
FG B.Walsh 29 yd. Field Goal Drive: 9 plays, 46 yards in 4:11
FG A.Vinatieri 26 yd. Field Goal Drive: 9 plays, 40 yards in 4:13
TD R.Wayne 30 yd. pass from A.Luck (A.Vinatieri kick is good) Drive: 8 plays, 64 yards in 1:04
FG A.Vinatieri 45 yd. Field Goal Drive: 14 plays, 53 yards in 7:54
TD S.Burton 7 yd. pass from C.Ponder (B.Walsh kick is good) Drive: 10 plays, 54 yards in 5:03
TD K.Rudolph 6 yd. pass from C.Ponder (B.Walsh kick is good) Drive: 9 plays, 47 yards in 2:19
FG A.Vinatieri 53 yd. Field Goal Drive: 4 plays, 45 yards in 0:23
What the Colts did Right
The Colts played 3 great quarters.
Let's start with the offense. Andrew Luck had a great game. He was accurate and he didn't make mistakes. He found the open guys and used his legs a lot, which is good. He showed us that he has good wheels making some good runs early on. But today, his long passes were great. He made a superb throw to Donnie Avery down the field. THen he made another great pass at the end of the half to Reggie Wayne. He was on in the first half. In the 2nd half, the Colts went to a more run heavy offense, and Luck only had 14 throws in the 2nd half, but he still looked good. Most of his throws in the 2nd half were on the button. All in all, he had a great bounceback game and as the weeks go on, he's getting more and more comfortable.
Reggie Wayne and Donnie Avery both had great games. Avery had 9 catches for 111 yards and Wayne had 6 catches for 71 yards and 1 touchdown. They were the 2 front runners today. Avery made a big catch at the start, but after that showed his good hands making good short passes. One of his catches that jumps out at me is the 7 yard slant where there was a cornerback behind him and a safety coming over to hit him and he still made the catch. Reggie Wayne was clutch. He started out slow, but made a nice TD catch and some nice first down catches. His last catch of the game was very important. He got a 20 yard catch at the end of the game to put the Colts in Vikings territory. On that same drive, the Colts scored the game winning field goal.
Anthony Castonzo was the only good lineman. Yes, he had some bad plays against Jared Allen, but name me a left tackle in the league who hasn't had a tough time against Allen. Allen didn't have one sack, and didn't have more than 5 or 6 pressures on Luck. He also didn't have one penalty.
Then the defense.
Cory Redding was the best defensive player, and there were some really good games from some other guys. He was the main reason why AP had a very quiet second half, and had some bad runs in the first half. On top of that, he had a fumble recovery that set up a Colts field goal. That put the icing on the cake. Also, Fili Moala had some good plays today and improved after last week's mediocre performance.
As for the linebackers, all 4 starters had good games. You don't hear that too often. Let's start from left to right. Jerry Hughes had a slow start to the game, but got progressively better even getting a sack in the 3rd quarter. He went all out in the 2nd half and it showed. Then, Kavell Conner. He had some oppurtunities to make big plays, but all in all, he was consistent and solid. He made 6 tackles and helped slow down AP in the 2nd half. Jerrell Freeman had another solid game. He made a lot of good tackles, 13 to be exact. He also had an important forced fumble on Christian Ponder, that set up a Adam Vinatieri field goal. Then, finally there was Robert Mathis. Like last week he started the game with a sack, and he got some good pressure on Ponder. He's been a real positive thus far.
Then in the secondary, Jerraud Powers and Antoine Bethea both had great games. Bethea made great tackles, some of which were very hard and made a loud noise. He's a stud, and he even looked good in coverage. He took away the deep passes, which is one of the things that the Colts wanted and that I mentioned in the Double A Breakdown. As for Jerraud Powers, he had a slow start, but was clutch down the line. His coverage in the 2nd half was superb and I don't believe he allowed any catches his way. He knocked down some balls and made some great tackles also. He had 9 on the day, which is crazy for a cornerback.
On special teams, Pat McAfee had arguably the best game of his career. He had a booming 64 yard punt and had a 56 yard punt too. He also made some tackles/push outs on kickoff. Adam Vinatieri was golden as usual. He made a couple of good field goals early on, but nothing compares to his game winning 53 yard field goal that went right down the middle. He's still got it!
There were more positives than negatives.
What the Colts did Wrong
The Colts did not show up in the 4th quarter. The unfamiliarity of playing with the lead really hurt them in the 4th.
On offense, the running game never got going. The running backs didn't find the holes, and they didn't run with authority, they slowed down too much and were caught up from behind from the defensive end. However, the main reason why the running game wasn't there, was because of the O-line.
The O-line was bad today. Seth Olsen had a bad game, Linkenbach had a bad game, McGlynn had some snapping problems and Trai Essex took penalties. None of them were solid and they were the only reason why Luck had to scramble so much, and why there were so many close calls. Link was the worst of the group. Robison and Griffin got around him constantly and if it weren't for Luck's awareness, he would have been sacked a lot more.
As for the defense.
The secondary had some trouble on some plays. Justin King had a bad defensive holding call that costed the Colts a touchdown, and Tom Zbikowski missed some tackles.
The pressure also slowed down in the 4th quarter as nobody had a sack and were barely able to generate any pressure giving Ponder time to find his targets and throw the ball. They need to stay consistent, because it was like that last week.
A small detail that should be noted. Kavell Conner had a chance to make a big play and did not capitlize. He had a chance to clinch the game with a big interception but he dropped it. This isn't the first time that's happened, so he needs to work on his hands.
As a complete defense, they had trouble stopping Adrian Peterson in the first half. He constantly ran for 5 or 6 yards and they moved the ball very well in the 1st and early 2nd quarter.
Finally, the coaching wasn't great today, especially in the 2nd half. They were way too conservative in the 4th quarter, running the ball too often. The Colts don't know how to play with the lead, they're too young, so that's where the coaches have to come in and direct them. Aggressive play calling would have won them the game handily. You can't give the opposing team that many oppurtunities to score with under 6 minutes to go.
Besides that, everything else was fairly good.
Be sure to check out other great articles at Everything Colts.