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Week 2 Game Recap: Indianapolis Colts 18, Minnesota Vikings 15

What you need to know

Indianapolis Colts

QB Peyton Manning was visibly frustrated at the end of the first quarter. The Indianapolis passing offense was not in sync during the first half. Minnesota put a lot of pressure on Manning and his mobility was limited. He did start to rebound in the second half and put together some big plays. The old Peyton Manning was starting to emerge with two late drives and precision passing to win the game.

OL Tony Ugoh went down with an injury in the first quarter. With Jeff Saturday already missing the Indianapolis offensive line could have used their experience. Minnesota was able to keep heavy pressure on the pass and limit the Colts to one running play over five yards.

RB Joseph Addai did not get anything going. There were a few opportunities to bounce to the outside but his burst was missing. He did face defenders in the backfield most of the day. Nothing was available up the middle and many times he had to fight to the line of scrimmage. The Indianapolis offensive line could not open up holes for Addai.

Minnesota Vikings

This was the day for QB Tavaris Jackson to prove himself against one of 2007's top pass defenses. Jackson didn't start to pass much until the last possession of the second quarter. He looked sharp on his passes and he was not looking to run first. However, Jackson did not lead a touchdown scoring drive and did not put up big numbers as Minnesota tried to ride the running game.

WR Bernard Berrian was covered well by DB Kelvin Hayden on two passes and one was thrown short in the dirt. He did not fight hard for the ball on the two catchable balls. Berrian was targeted deep in the fourth quarter and tripped himself up on a very catchable pass that could have been a TD.

The Minnesota defense was able to put pressure on Peyton Manning and they stuffed the run. However, big plays happened and this allowed Indianapolis to come back and win the game.

The running game worked whether RB Adrian Peterson or RB Chester Taylor had the ball. The Minnesota offensive line was able to open big holes.


What you ought to know

QB Peyton Manning, Pass: 26 - 42 - 311 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 0 - 0

The most obvious missing element was the stretch off-tackle play to RB Joseph Addai. All of the outside running plays were pitched to Addai. This play in the past set up play action passes. Peyton Manning did not show much mobility at all. Defenders were breathing down Manning's neck all day and he showed his frustration at the end of the first half. DB Antoine Winfield made a great play on the first interception. The next drive seemed like things were starting to come around and then DL Jared Allen made a huge sack on third down. The second half looked much different. Even though Indianapolis could not run the ball everything changed. WR Anthony Gonzalez hauled in a long play that set up their first TD. That play seemed to change Manning and his passing was more precise and he actually started to look like his old self. With no running game and lots of pressure he started to pick the defense apart. Manning was able to hit receivers in stride and make some crucial plays during the fourth quarter.

RB Joseph Addai, Rush: 15 - 20 - 1, Rec: 2 - 13 - 0 (5 targets)

Joseph Addai did not have a very good day mainly due to poor blocking. He was meeting defenders in the backfield and there wasn't much room to run. Addai was run down on the outside by Minnesota LBs and DBs. He only had one run longer than three yards. His only TD was from inches out and he almost didn't get in. The review on that play was very close.

RB Dominic Rhodes, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0, Rec: 2 - 8 - 0 (2 targets)

Dominic Rhodes only came in to give Addai some rest. It was not a consistent third down situation. When he was in he wasn't able to move the ball any more than Addai. Rhodes did run hard for the two point conversion and pushed his way in.

WR Anthony Gonzalez, Rec: 9 - 137 - 0 (12 targets)

It seemed like every time there was a passing play Anthony Gonzalez was involved. His first reception was finding the soft spot between the first and second layers of coverage. On another play across the middle he stretched out to reach the ball and haul it in right before two defenders hit him hard. The first big play of the game was a catch by Gonzalez down the middle of the field. Just when he was about to go down he flipped the ball to Reggie Wayne and he almost scored. Gonzalez was also involved in crucial conversion plays and he seems to find the soft spot of the defense when needed.

WR Reggie Wayne, Rec: 5 - 93 - 1 (7 targets)

Reggie Wayne came very close to a TD after the pitch from Gonzalez. That play seemed to ignite the Colts and Wayne. Most of his action came during the fourth quarter comeback. Wayne made a great play splitting the coverage on his TD catch. That play was reviewed and negated his TD. It was a return to 2007 in the fourth quarter. Wayne had five targets in the fourth quarter to match Gonzalez.

WR Marvin Harrison, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (3 targets)

The first interception was intended for Marvin Harrison. The second target was a hurry play by Peyton Manning to catch the Minnesota defense off guard. Antoine Winfield was there both times and almost intercepted the second possession. Winfield covered Harrison all day. Harrison hauled in one reception in the third quarter but did not get much going.

TE Tom Santi, Rec: 5 - 29 - 0 (8 targets)

Tom Santi took Dallas Clark's place and did very well. He was the second most targeted receiver and caught the ball well. His problem was what he did after he caught the ball. Santi did not get many yards after the catch and went down easily.

TE Gijon Robinson, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (3 targets)

Gijon Robinson gave TE Tom Santi rest. Manning did not shy away from passing to him. Robinson did make two nice catches and did well when needed.

TE Dallas Clark

Dallas Clark warmed up and tried to go but he was inactive. The Colts offense targeted TEs often and his playmaking ability was missed.

PK Adam Vinatieri 1 - 2 FG, 1 - 1 XP, 4 points

Adam Vinatieri missed a 30 yard field goal in the fourth quarter. The hold was clean and no defender touched the ball. This kick would have put Indianapolis within one score of winning the game. Vinatieri redeemed himself making a game winning 47 yard field goal with three seconds left.

IND Rush Defense

The Indianapolis rush defense was pretty much nonexistent. It didn't matter who was running the ball for Minnesota. Holes developed and seemed to be there all day. It was a bend but don't break defense. The Colts were able to hold the Vikings to field goals only but it was not a run stopping display.

IND Pass Defense

There wasn't a huge amount of passing. However, when Tavaris Jackson passed the ball he was able to find an open receiver. DB Kelvin Hayden broke up a lot of plays and there were three sacks. Minnesota tried to go deep on them a few times and there was either a good defensive play, penalty, or a drop. Even though they were able to get a few short passes through the defense held them to know TD scoring drives and they only allowed the Vikings in the red zone twice.


QB Tarvaris Jackson, Pass: 14 - 24 - 130 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0

Tavaris Jackson didn't make any big mistakes. One thing that was very noticeable was that he was looking to pass the ball first on roll outs and during scrambling. During the second half he did make some very nice passes and showed some good decision making. Jackson was scrambling on what looked like he was going to run and he floated a very nice ball to Aundrae Allison. The fumble was on a great play by DE Dwight Freeney who knocked the ball out as Jackson pulled back to pass. The only bad pass of the day came when he was hit on the release and it looked like WR Sidney Rice ran the wrong pattern.

RB Adrian Peterson, Rush: 29 - 160 - 0, Rec: 4 - 20 - 0 (4 targets)

Adrian Peterson had the best first half of his career in terms of yards. After gaining 118 yards he was only able to get 42 in the second half. Most of this was due to Indianapolis winning the time of possession. Peterson was able to run anywhere on the field he wanted to. He broke tackles and was never taken down on the first hit. There were big running lanes and he took advantage. He almost broke two plays but DB Bob Sanders got him both times. Minnesota would get a good drive going only to stall out at the end. There were two trips inside the red zone and Peterson just couldn't get a sniff of the end zone. He also didn't get stopped for less than three yards much either. Peterson did do well receiving the ball and was able to create yards after the catch.

RB Chester Taylor, Rush: 4 - 18 - 0, Rec: 1 - -2 - 0 (2 targets)

Taylor ran the ball well through large holes. I didn't seem to matter who was in the game. Taylor started to come into the game on third downs in the second half. During the first half he only came in occasionally. Taylor was also active in kickoff returns. But, he didn't see the field very much and was not a huge part of the game plan.

RB Naufahu Tahi, Rec: 2 - -2 - 0 (2 targets)

Naufahu Tahi was just a check down for Tavaris Jackson and he didn't do much with the receptions. Both receptions he had a chance to get some yards but was stuffed both times.

WR Aundrae Allison, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0, Rec: 2 - 37 - 0 (3 targets)

Aundrae Allison was targeted on a nice floater where he found the soft spot in the defense. Allison was also hit again in the fourth quarter. He wasn't a huge part of the passing attack but he did a good job when he did get the ball.

WR Sidney Rice (2 targets)

One of Sidney Rice's targets was a deep throw. It was barely out of bounds and might have been right on the line. Rice couldn't keep the ball in his hands anyway. The other was a short pass and the defender made a decent play. Rice could have caught both balls.

WR Bernard Berrian (4 targets)

The key would be no receptions. One pass was in the dirt in front of Bernard Berrian so he can't be blamed for that one. Berrian was targeted three more times and two were deep. He was covered very well but didn't fight for the ball much either. On one play Berrian tripped himself up on a play that should have been caught and might have gone for a TD. It was obvious that Tavaris Jackson was looking the other way most of the game. Bernard Berrian even got called for an illegal substitution because he didn't get off the field for the punt.

TE Jim Kleinsasser, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (1 targets)

Kleinsasser made a nice play but his reception was the only time he was used in the passing game plan. He was playing FB blocking for Adrian Peterson most of the time.

TE Visanthe Shiancoe, Rec: 1 - 23 - 0 (2 targets)

All of Visanthe Shiancoe's action was in the first half. He made one very nice catch and even got a few yards after the catch. However, he was not heard from again the rest of the game.

PK Ryan Longwell 5 - 6 FG, 0 - 0 XP, 15 points

Ryan Longwell was kicking very well all game. His lone miss was from 48 yards and just missed. His other five field goals were right down the middle. Three of his field goals were from 40 or more yards. He was kicking in the dome, but it was still a very nice kicking display.

MIN Rush Defense

Unbelievable. Twenty five total rushing yards for the Indianapolis Colts says a lot. It was amazing how there was someone with penetration on almost every play. This was fun to watch and see how frustrated Indianapolis would get trying to run the ball. It didn't matter whether they tried to go up the middle or outside. They did let down on one play and that would be the two point conversion where Dominic Rhodes plowed in for two.

MIN Pass Defense

The pass defense was great during the first half and most of the third quarter. The big question entering this game was whether or not Minnesota could stop the big play. They did until Anthony Gonzalez caught one splitting two defenders and then creating yards after the catch. After that the valve was open and a few more big plays happened and Minnesota lost the game. Two and a half quarters of great pass defense and lots of frustration for Peyton Manning. Then Manning started to pick them apart.