Line – Vikings (-1.5)
With many angles and players to follow in this game, let’s take a look at the major storylines:
Andrew Luck’s Home Debut
This will unquestionably be the biggest story in terms of national media coverage. Everybody’s going to want to see what Luck does in his home opener. He had a tough assignment last week, going into Soldier Field to face one of the best defenses in the league, but will have a much more winnable game in front of him Sunday.
To say that Luck has the weight of the world on his shoulders would be an overstatement, but America is watching this guy’s every move. He’s under pressure not only from Colts’ fans, but also from everybody that will compare him to Robert Griffin III.
People are already putting RG3 ahead of Luck after one game, and that is nothing short of ridiculous.
Adrian Peterson’s Second Game Back
The second biggest story is Peterson’s return from reconstructive knee surgery. He was quite simply amazing last weekend when you consider the circumstances, and fans will be clamoring to see if he can keep it up. Peterson still looked just like his nickname, All Day.
He’ll be going up against a defense that gave up 428 yards of total offense last week, including 114 on the ground, and a unit that was fourth worst in stopping the run last season, giving up 143 yards per game.
Vikings’ fans should expect a performance similar to last week’s for Peterson, with him getting between 15-17 touches, 85-100 yards, and likely a touchdown to go with it.
This is truly a game that could go either way. The line is about dead on, even though you could argue the home field advantage will play a big role for Indianapolis.
Both teams feature many inexperienced players on each side of the ball, and units that are no doubt rebuilding from disappointing seasons in 2011.
Two good young quarterbacks will be on display with Luck, and second year starter Christian Ponder. Whoever makes fewer mistakes, and can convert on third down, will likely lead their team to victory. However, both guys could be running for their lives all game, with the likes of Jared Allen and Robert Mathis trying to welcome them to the league.