Last Sunday, the Colts struggled against the Chicago Bears, falling to their passing attack led by Jay Cutler, 41-21. A lot of people noticed how much Andrew Luck struggled, but it was largely due to the part of the offensive line, who can only give Luck about 2-4 seconds to even get the ball off with the Bears strong passing-rushing attack.
The Vikings finished off on a better note last Sunday, however, pulling out a 26-23 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, with running back Adrian Peterson surprisingly playing, finishing with two touchdowns. Quarterback Christian Ponder wasn’t so bad himself, passing for 270 yards.
With this being the home-opener for Indianapolis, many fans are hoping to see a victory come out as they see the Luck era unfold in the regular season for the first time in Lucas Oil Stadiun.
Beating the Vikings won’t be easy, so here are three keys towards getting a victory:
1. Stop Adrian Peterson
Though it is easier said than done, stopping Peterson is a must. Though he still isn’t 100-percent exactly, he is still able to get the job done like he displayed last week. The Colts let both Matt Forte and Michael Bush take advantage of their defense last week, as they ran the ball all over them.
Though stopping Peterson isn’t exactly impossible, it’s still going to be tough to do. Also, not to mention they have a pretty reliable backup in Toby Gerhart getting some carries as well, as he could make a big difference as well. At least maintaining them so that they won’t completely affect the outcome of the game would be fine.
It’s going to be tough, but it’s possible.
2. Run the Ball More
In a horrendous season last year, the Colts were able to find some soul in their running game that they haven’t seen since probably the 2007-08 season. Donald Brown and Delone Carter were able to do pretty well last season.
This year, it seems that Brown will be getting the majority of the carries with Vick Ballard helping out, as displayed against the Bears. The Colts were able to get a rushing touchdown in the game, with a nice, 20-yard run by Brown. They can achieve more by running the ball more, but it all goes down to the offensive line.
However, like last year, the more the Colts ran the ball, the more they kept getting better and better in the run game. If they can do that against the Vikings defense, they can be able to get a victory. They can’t let Luck keep throwing the ball, since his supporting cast isn’t all that great.
Give Brown some touches and it can go a long way.
3. Protect Andrew Luck!
This is a must. No excuses.
Luck was annihilated lat week against the Bears, getting hit on almost every play. Luck would force four total turnovers in that game, with three interceptions and a fumble. Not even his first NFL touchdown pass of his career could make up for it. However, the blame can’t go to him. It’s offensive line.
It’s been shown since last season that the Colts easily have one of the worst, if not the worst, o-line in the league. Luck needs to be taken care of and be protected in the pocket, or else he’ll end up being the next David Carr. And boy, Indianapolis would definitely not like that.
The Vikings have a scary pass-rush led by Jared Allen, so they will need to protect Luck like none other. Protect Luck, and he can be comfortable in the pocket. And when Luck gets comfortable in the pocket, it’s scary for opposing defenses.