A quick recap of the Minnesota Vikings 23-20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
HOW THE GAME WAS LOST
Although the Vikings offense was terrible for three quarters, the Vikings had a chance to send the game into overtime for the second straight week, but the defense couldn’t stop rookie Andrew Luck and the Colts offense.
For the second straight week, the Vikings defense inability to get off the field on third downs hurt them. Although the Colts only converted 43% of the third down completions, they were much more efficient at doing so in the first half, which gave them a half time lead of 17-6.
The Vikings began their comeback in the fourth quarter when Christian Ponder completed a tipped touchdown pass to Stephen Burton with 5:03 left in the game. The Vikings defense then did it’s job by getting the ball back to its offense with 2:50 left to play.
Christian Ponder, like he did last week, drove the offense down the field to score the game tying six yard touchdown to TE Kyle Rudolph.
BACK BREAKING DRIVE
It was silly of us to think the Vikings would once again pull out a miracle because there was 31 seconds for the Colts left on the clock. The Vikings defense once again couldn’t get a stop for their life and allowed the Colts to drive to the Minnesota 35 yard line. Essentially it was a flashback to last week, but it was the Colts doing to the Vikings what they did to the Jags. Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri connected on a 53 yard field goal to essentially clinch a 23-20 Colts win with eight seconds left to play.
PLAY OF THE GAME
On the defensive side of the ball, Everson Griffen sacked Andrew Luck for -22 yards to the Colts own 16 yard line, which gave the Vikings great field position for their game tying touchdown drive.
On the offensive side of the ball, the tipped touchdown catch by Stephen Burton was definitely the highlight. The pass intended for Kyle Rudolph was tipped twice like a volleyball before it landed perfectly in the hands of WR Stephen Burton.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Hands down the most valuable Minnesota Vikings is multi-threat Percy Harvin. Harvin had 12 receptions for 104 yards and 2 carries for 13 yards (but a long one of 20 yards).
Unlike last week, the Vikings were able to get Percy involved in the game early. If the other team isn’t capable of stopping Harvin, the Vikings need to get him the ball almost every time because he is so dangerous.
The downside was Harvin had to keep coming off the field late in the game with cramps in his leg.
CHRISTIAN PONDER IS THE COMEBACK KID
Two straights weeks of Christian Ponder doing something that he would likely not have been able to do last year during his rookie season: leading the Vikings down the field in the final minutes and/or seconds of the game and scoring to tie a game.
Against the Colts, Ponder finished 27-of-35 (77%) with two touchdowns.
One thing Ponder needs to work on is taking care of the ball because for the second straight week he fumbled the ball and led to the opposing team putting points on the board. Similar to last week, Ponder also nailed a defender in the hands for an interception but the defender dropped it. Although Ponder has yet to throw an interception, he has come way too close to doing so many of times.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Vikings 23-20 loss to the Colts puts them at 1-1 for the season. They are currently tied with the Bears and Packers, with the Lions to play tonight.
Next up for the Vikings, the San Francisco 49ers and Randy Moss come to the Metrodome. That should be a goody.