A classic example of a bad team vs. a bad organization.
The Colts are a bad team, because outside of Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne, Robert Mathis and a few youngsters, they’re woefully lacking in talent, especially along both lines. They’ll need a few productive drafts and some savvy free agent signings to become contenders three or four years down the road.
The Vikings are a bad organization, in that they’re terribly coached. All the talent in the world won’t matter if you’re terribly coached, and it’s not like the Vikes are brimming with talent.
Minnesota outplayed Indy for the majority of the game, but doomed themselves in all three phases of the game with needless penalties, which took their offense out of promising drives while keeping Colts drives going.
The coaching staff failed to play prevent late in the first half, which gave Luck the opportunity to find Wayne for a 30-yard touchdown with seven seconds to go instead of just a field goal.
A late hit out-of-bounds penalty on Jared Allen on a Luck scramble that was 14 yards short of the sticks gave Indy a cheap first and would lead to a field goal.
Minnesota was running the ball well with Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, but went away from it too soon because they trailed 17-6 at half.
Then, after parlaying a lucky deflection into one touchdown and tying it up late with another, the Vikes, who had done a solid job of bottling up Luck in the second half, let him complete three passes covering 48 yards in about 13 seconds to get into field goal range for Adam Vinatieri for the game-winner.
Also, on the game’s final play, Vikes receiver Mike Jenkins didn’t have the situational awareness to even attempt a lateral, all too keen to just get tackled as time expired.
A fine effort by Christian Ponder (who connected with Percy Harvin on 12 of 13 targets) was wasted, but Vikings fans can take solace that he looks much improved from his rookie season. It’s true that the Jaguars and Colts are hardly elite defenses, but it’s hard to knock Ponder’s work nonetheless.
Colts fans, meanwhile, got to witness firsthand why Luck was drafted first overall, and he was at his best when he had to be late in each half. Also, Donnie Avery, who was the first receiver picked in his draft class a few years ago, continues his reemergence, which is nice to see. He’s only 28, so there’s still time for he and Luck to make some beautiful music together.