Minnesota Vikings vs. Indianapolis Colts: Offense, D Stumble in Last Minute Loss

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 16: Christian Ponder #7 of the Minnesota Vikings looks to pass against the Indianapolis Colts during the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 16, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts won 23-20. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings came very close to their second straight overtime game, but the defense crumbled and Andrew Luck led the Indianapolis Colts down the field for a game-winning field goal.

Despite the fact that multiple players on the Indy offensive line were hurt, the Vikings couldn't get to Luck.

This failure was especially painful to watch on the Colts' last drive, which spanned 52 yards (47 passing yards by Luck; the other five yards coming on one of Minnesota's many penalties) in just under 20 seconds.

Really, this was the bigger of the two failings for the Vikings, the offense's uneven play being the other. Ultimately, when you face an offensive line like this, you have to make the kill-shot and the Vikings just couldn't.

It is inexcusable that the Vikings were able to get all of two sacks on Luck. Let's accept for the moment that Luck's mobility was forgotten about after his bad game last week, and he made it hard for the Vikings to contain him.

Still, Viking pass-rushers got their paws on him, and if you're that close that often, you have to put him down. They didn't, which only bolstered Luck's confidence. Luck only threw for 224 yards, but he threw two touchdowns and more importantly protected the ball. The Vikings were ineffective defensively and that is a real concern going forward. 

They need to generate some pass rush and do so consistently.

The overall offense looked fine, but not enough people stepped up. Percy Harvin did everything—he caught the ball, he ran the ball, he returned kicks—but spent the second half looking very winded.

Nobody else stepped up big on a consistent basis. Stephen Burton had a very nice catch off a tipped ball but that was all the production he provided for the offense. Kyle Rudolph was very quiet after a solid first week. Even Adrian Peterson, while running well, didn't do all that much.

Even when the defense played well, the offense just couldn't get anything going.

Things don't get easier next week. Against potentially the best team in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers, the Vikings will surely see their toughest test, yet.

If they aren't on point, it won't even be a close game.


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