Breaking Down the Indianapolis Colts' Week 2 Game Tape
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The other is Andrew Luck, who runs because self-preservation is his nature.
Despite the unreasonably poor pass protection, Luck had something of a coming out party against the subpar Minnesota Vikings secondary.
He even used his legs to pick up a couple of valuable first downs in the first half.
Though Luck passed the ball efficiently throughout the game, the Indianapolis Colts couldn't get the running game going.
Not even a little bit.
Donald Brown led—or failed to lead—the charge on the ground for the Colts. His 16 carries netted a grand total of 45 rushing yards. The entire team managed only 84 yards on 30 carries.
Nonetheless, Luck made it work. He combined with Reggie Wayne on two occasions that completely changed the outlook of the game. Christian Ponder and the Vikings had a number of good plays that nearly got them the win, including a very fortunate one.
Check the tape.
Lucks finds Wayne for a 30-yard TD with 10 seconds left in the first half
Already leading 10-6, the Colts received a punt with just over a minute remaining in the first half. Rather than sitting on the small lead and the momentum, the Colts entrusted their franchise quarterback to put more points on the board.
After gaining 34 yards on seven plays, Luck saw the coverage he wanted and zipped one in to Reggie for the touchdown.
Probably anticipating another short play, Minnesota ran a simple Cover 2, but executed poorly. Their two safeties are extremely inexperienced, so it's really no wonder.
Wayne and Kris Adams both lined up to Luck's right. Seeing the Cover 2, Luck sent both receivers deep, with Adams drawing safety Mistral Raymond to the sideline. This opened a gap between Raymond and rookie safety Harrison Smith.
The gap should've been filled by linebacker Erin Henderson, but he blew the coverage and let Wayne run past him.
The throw was delivered on time and the Colts took a 17-6 lead into the locker room.
Ponder throws the first of his two fourth-quarter TD passes on a double-tipped pass
Facing a 4th-and-4 from the Colts' 7-yard-line, Ponder was more than a little lucky the game wasn't put to bed on this play.
The Colts brought four men to pressure Ponder on the play. Taking the snap from the shotgun, Ponder had a short drop before trying to force one to his tight end, Kyle Rudolph, who ran a curl and sat right on the goal line.
At first glance, the route appeared to be jumped by Colts inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman, but the ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage by defensive end Cory Redding.
Play over, game over. Right? Not so fast, my friend.
The ball took an unlikely deflection off Redding's hand and continued toward Rudolph at a rainbow-esque trajectory, ideal for his 6'6" frame.
Rudolph couldn't keep his concentration and the ball bounced right off his hands. Luckily for the Vikings, it bounced right into the hands of second-year wideout Stephen Burton for a miraculous, albeit unlikely touchdown.
That touchdown pass gave the Vikings all the momentum, and they went on to score a game-tying touchdown with under a minute remaining.
With overtime looming, the Colts made the decisive plays of the game.
Luck completes a 20-yard pass to Wayne with under 30 seconds remaining
Indy managed only one yard of offense in the fourth quarter before their final drive. Desperate for the win, the Colts put their faith in the man they drafted to replace one of the all-time greats.
It was time for a signature drive.
On the first play, Luck evaded pressure from his right and threaded the ball into tight coverage for a 20-yard gain to Donnie Avery.
A nice play, but they were still 20 yards out of Adam Vinatieri's maximum range.
With only 24 seconds remaining, both teams were anxious for a big play. The Vikings brought two linebackers on a blitz from Luck's left. Luck left running back Mewelde Moore in the backfield to block and Indy was able to pick up the blitz.
Stepping up to his right, Luck fired a dart to Wayne, who took full advantage of the soft coverage the Vikings offered. Wayne caught the pass and wisely dove ahead to get maximum yardage out of the play.
It was enough to get the team into field goal range. Ultimately, they ran another play that resulted in a closer kick, but it was the pass to Reggie Wayne that gave the Colts a chance to win the game.
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