The Minnesota Vikings travel to Lucas Oil Stadium to take on the Indianapolis Colts Sunday in a game that should give us a bit more insight into two of the bigger storylines heading into last week's season opener.
Adrian Peterson returned for the Vikings after tearing his ACL last year. It was unknown just how much Minnesota would use him to start the season, and we were all curious as to how he would perform with the chance that he would eventually receive.
Peterson responded with 84 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns in a 26-23 overtime victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He looked sharp on his cuts and seemed as though he never missed a beat while out.
Andrew Luck made his much anticipated debut last week in a 41-21 loss to the Chicago Bears. While it didn't go as well as hoped for the Colts and Luck, getting that first game out of the way—regardless of result—can have a resounding effect on his performance thereafter.
It will be interesting to see how both Peterson and Luck respond after getting the first game out of their system.
Here is one bold prediction for each team in Sunday's matchup:
Percy Harvin Scores on the Ground and Through the Air
The Vikings have established that Peterson is back. His workload came as a bit of a shock to most and his performance was a relief for everyone in and around the Minnesota organization.
What that does, however, is allows quarterback Christian Ponder the ability to open up the field a bit.
Peterson must be paid attention to at all times by the opposing defense, leaving wide receiver Percy Harvin more space to work with.
Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave should take this chance to open up the playbook even more to allow Harvin to do what he does best. He is a very versatile player and does the most damage in space.
Andrew Luck Corrects Mistakes, Throws for 300 Yards and 3 Touchdowns in First Victory
No one expected Luck to come out of the Bears game with a victory, nor did they anticipate gaudy numbers in a hostile road environment.
But is it possible that the best thing that could have happened to Luck was to be humbled a bit? Not that he doesn't have a good head on his shoulders, but every player should experience the bottom before realizing that success doesn't come all that easy in the NFL.
Luck looked decent at times last week, but was hampered by the speed of the game, even compared to the preseason.
The Vikings let Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert throw for 260 yards and two touchdowns last week. Gabbert stayed away from mistakes and was able to have his best as a pro.
Luck should be able to improve drastically over last week in front of the home crowd and get a taste of his first victory in the NFL.