Wed, 28 Oct 2020

Vikings Stumble Against Colts in Indy

Minnesota Vikings
21 Sep 2020, 21:37 GMT+10

Craig Peters

The Vikings suffered costly penalties and from a lack of execution in multiple phases Sunday in a 28-11 loss to the Colts in Indianapolis.

Even though Minnesota (0-2) was on the road and in white jerseys, the game had multiple mirror images of Week 1 when the Vikings fell in purple at home to Green Bay, particularly time of possession.

Indianapolis held the ball for 38:25 Sunday, compared to 21:35 by Minnesota, which was a boost from last week's franchise low of 18:44 (stat kept since 1977).

Minnesota scored a field goal on its opening drive, a solid start of moving the chains, but then allowed 28 unanswered points by Indianapolis.

The 75-yard drive ended with the disappointment of not getting the ball into the end zone, but the Vikings time of possession of 5:59 exceeded their totals in the first (4:03), second (3:12) and fourth (5:12) quarters against the Packers in Week 1.

The Colts won the field position battle throughout the game and had four separate scoring drives that required 36 or fewer yards for points.

Indianapolis also recorded a safety by sacking Kirk Cousins in the end zone. Cousins also took a safety in Week 1.

This is the third time that the Vikings have suffered a safety in two separate games of the same season, along with 2007 (Weeks 16 and 17) and 2014 (Weeks 14 and 16).

Dalvin Cook rushed for a 3-yard touchdown with 5:20 left in the game and added a 2-point conversion, but finished with just 14 carries for 63 yards and two receptions for eight yards.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins finished 11-of-26 passing for 113 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions for a passer rating of 15.9. With 5:25 left in the third quarter, Cousins was 6-of-20 passing for 59 yards with three picks and a rating of 0.0.

Philip Rivers finished 19-for-25 with 214 yards, a touchdown and interception by Eric Wilson. Rivers' passer rating was 97.8.

Instead of connecting with vintage Bolts Hall of Fame RB LaDainian Tomlinson and eventual Gold Jacket TE Antonio Gates, Rivers largely relied on Colts rookie RB Jonathan Taylor and TE Mo Alie-Cox.

Taylor took over the starting gig Sunday for an injured Marlon Mack and didn't break stride. He rushed times for yards and his first career touchdown (a 5-yarder that put the Colts up 7-3 with 11:45 left in the second quarter). Taylor rushed 26 times for 101 yards and the score with a long of 13.

Alie-Cox caught five passes for 111 yards with a long of 33 and a 27-yarder to move the ball to the 2 late in the game.

Indianapolis totaled 24 first downs, compared to 12 by Minnesota, which was just 2-for-9 on third downs. The Colts outgained the Vikings 354 to 175 and ran 67 offensive plays compared to 47 by the Vikings.

The Vikings fell to 0-12 all-time on the road against the Colts. The string of losses includes going 0-8 in games played in Baltimore between 1961 and the 1968 Western Conference Championship. Minnesota has lost all four games in Indianapolis (2000, 2004, 2012 and Sunday) and has dropped six in a row overall since 2000.

Scoring summary

Q1, 9:01 remaining

Vikings 3, Colts 0

Dan Bailey kicks a 21-yard field goal [13 plays, 75 yards, 5:59 time of possession]

Decent start: Thielen made a pair of impressive catches for gains of 18 and 13 on the opening drive, but the possession stalled inside the 10 after two runs and an incomplete pass.

Q2, 11:45 remaining

Colts 7, Vikings 3

Jonathan Taylor rushes for 5 yards (Rodrigo Blankenship kicks PAT) [4 plays, 35 yards, 1:29 time of possession]

Short field: The Colts weren't impacted by an interception on their first possession. Indianapolis forced a quick three-and-out and had a solid punt return.

Q2, 4:54 remaining

Colts 9, Vikings 3

DeForest Buckner sacks Kirk Cousins in the end zone [3 plays, minus-2 yards, 1:09 time of possession]

Bad streak: The Vikings have now allowed a safety in three consecutive regular-season games dating to Week 17 of the 2019 season.

Q2, 1:10 remaining

Colts 12, Vikings 3

Blankenship kicks a 28-yard field goal [8 plays, 58 yards, 3:44 time of possession]

Q2, 0:24 remaining

Colts 15, Vikings 3

Blankenship kicks a 38-yard field goal [4 plays, 9 yards, 0:21 time of possession]

Q3, 9:27 remaining

Colts 18, Vikings 3

Blankenship kicks a 38-yard field goal [4 plays, 2 yards, 1:26 time of possession]

Q4, 14:00 remaining

Colts 25, Vikings 3

Zach Pascal catches a 2-yard pass from Philip Rivers (Blankenship kicks PAT) [10 plays, 65 yards, 6:25 time of possession]

Q4, 8:47 remaining

Colts 28, Vikings 3

Blankenship kicks a 44-yard field goal [6 plays, 36 yards, 3:43 time of possession]

Q4, 5:20 remaining

Colts 28, Vikings 11

Dalvin Cook rushes for 3 yards (Cook rushes for 2-point conversion) [8 plays, 75 yards, 3:27 time of possession]

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