Will the Minnesota Vikings' D Make Andrew Luck Look Like a Rookie Again?
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The Indianapolis Colts are still trying to figure out what happened last weekend. Andrew Luck, franchise savior, healer of wounded birds, superhero, amateur detective and rookie quarterback was supposed to turn things around. Instead, he spent most of the day turned around himself.
In short, he really only looked like the last thing on that list of hyperbole laden labels and that's to be expected. It was a tough matchup for week one and his struggles shouldn't surprise you.
The question is, will the Vikings make it two rough starts in a row?
The Bears mixed up their defensive fronts a ton against Luck and the Colts, which in many ways isn't terribly unusual for them and certainly was effective in confusing and rattling the rookie.
It should come as no surprise then, given the success the Bears had, that the Vikings are going to do a lot of that this Sunday. In a process that began this offseason, the Vikings have said they want to continue mixing up their defensive schemes.
The move away from a pure Cover-2 (if there is such a thing as a pure anything in today's NFL) comes in part with the arrival of new defensive coordinator Alan Williams.
Last week that was a mixed bag as they got beat by Cecil Shorts despite being 3-deep, while the rotation of various players on the defensive line—guys like Kevin Williams, Letroy Guion, Everson Griffin and Fred Evans—moved in and out of the lineup.
Between the fresh legs and multiple looks, the Vikings are hoping to keep Luck guessing throughout the game. This early in the season, with a new defensive coordinator and some new pieces, it's going to be tough for Luck to get really specific about the tendencies of the Vikings both from a strategy and personnel standpoint.
The Vikings will want to get as much pressure on Luck as possible to replicate the confusion and inaccuracy he had in Week 1. They have to get him out of his rhythm very quickly as he knows how to use Reggie Wayne and former college teammate Coby Fleener.
Who will win this battle?
Both had huge games, and unfortunately for the Vikings, they have similar questions in the secondary which the Bears had. They will have some trouble containing the receivers and unlike the Bears, the Vikings have more issues defending the red zone.
If they do not get to Luck early and often and allow him to settle in, there is going to be trouble.
So the best bet is to continually give Luck different looks and keep him on his toes.
That doesn't have to translate to sacks (the Bears only managed three), but keeping him moving, pressuring him and not allowing him to get comfortable in the pocket are all things they need to do.
The Vikings, who only had a pair of sacks against Jacksonville and Blaine Gabbert, have the weapons to get after Luck and dictate the terms when they are on defense.
If they can do that, they'll likely hand him his second straight shaky outing.
If they can't and allow him to get into a rhythm when he is on the field, then it's the Vikings who might look like rookies on Sunday.
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