Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis

Minnesota Vikings vs. Indianapolis Colts Pick & Prediction SEP 20TH 2020

NFL | FOOTBALL
TV: FOX
Logo Minnesota Vikings
VS
Logo Indianapolis Colts
47
OPENNER
-3

46.5o -110
CURRENT
-3.5 +100

-130
MONEYLINE
+110

11
SCORE
28

One game into the 2020 season, the Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings are eager to prove Week 1 losses were an aberration.

 

The Colts coughed up an early lead at Jacksonville and lost to the Jaguars, 27-20. The Vikings were easily handled by a division rival, too, in a 43-34 home defeat at the hands of the Green Bay Packers.

 

Minnesota travels to Lucas Oil Stadium to face the Colts on Sunday in Philip Rivers' first home game as Indy's quarterback. He's already down a starting backfield mate. Marlon Mack, playing in a contract year, tore his Achilles in Jacksonville, which elevated rookie Jonathan Taylor to a spotlight role earlier than expected.

 

Rivers found the silver lining in his debut with the Colts. Indianapolis generated 445 yards in total offense but Rivers threw two interceptions, overshadowing his 36-of-46 passing day with 363 yards and a touchdown. After taking in film sessions this week, Rivers couldn't temper his frustration.

 

"I'm still a little aggravated about last week," Rivers said on Wednesday.

 

The Vikings are preaching pass rush after Aaron Rodgers and the Packers lit up the secondary with relative ease in Week 1. Minus injured left end Danielle Hunter, the Vikings remain determined to get to the quarterback without sending extra pressure. Rodgers had four touchdown passes and threw for 364 yards. At least one other big play for a touchdown was avoided thanks to a drop by Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

 

Mike Hughes and Holton Hill started at cornerback last week for the Vikings and were exposed without a significant pass rush. Rodgers attempted a Week 1-high 10 deep passes. They'll be targets again Sunday, but safety Harrison Smith said the Vikings are unbowed and unwilling to point fingers.

 

"Our young guys are going to be really good players, and they are good players," Smith said, crediting some of the breakdowns to jitters in the opener. "Playing in your first game against one of the best quarterbacks in the league, one of the best receivers in the league, good offense. We've definitely got to get better, but I like the guys we've got."

 

Rivers gave Jacksonville's young cornerbacks multiple chances to make plays last week, and the Jaguars came away with two picks.

 

Rivers has 13 interceptions in his past eight games, dating to the 2019 season with the Los Angeles Chargers. He said he's not thinking about turnovers.

 

"It is part of life in the NFL. You hope there's just not very many," Rivers said. "There's been more than I would have liked the past handful of years, but overall, it's not been an issue in my career."

 

The Vikings last faced Rivers in a regular-season game in 2015. They've never seen Taylor, who had six receptions for 67 yards and nine carries for 22 yards in Week 1.

 

In three seasons at Wisconsin, Taylor eclipsed 2,000 rushing yards twice and finished his Badgers career with 6,174 running yards and 50 touchdowns on the ground. The Colts selected him with the No. 41 overall pick in the draft in April.

 

Rivers said Taylor reminds him of former Chargers teammate Michael Turner, a LaDainian Tomlinson backup with the Chargers whose production exploded once he became a starter with the Atlanta Falcons.

 

"Similar in size and people forget how fast Michael Turner was, but he could really run -- same with Jonathan," Rivers said. "They are similar in that regard. That's who he reminds me of."

 

Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota offense will take aim at one of the Vikings' former cornerbacks, Xavier Rhodes. He's on the other side of the field Sunday. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he hopes Rhodes, released in the offseason by the Vikings, is staying safe and healthy.

 

"I love Xavier, he's a great kid, good competitor," Zimmer said. "We had a lot of good times together."

 

--Field Level Media

 

PREDICTION
Minnesota Vikings
23
26
Indianapolis Colts

Minnesota Vikings vs. Indianapolis Colts

Jonathan Taylor rushed for 101 yards and one touchdown and the Indianapolis Colts intercepted Kirk Cousins three times en route to an easy 28-11 victory over the visiting Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Philip Rivers completed 19 of 25 passes for 214 yards, one touchdown and one interception for Indianapolis (1-1). The touchdown throw was the 399th of Rivers career and he is one shy of becoming the sixth player in NFL history to reach at least 400 scoring passes.

Zach Pascal had a touchdown reception, Mo Alie-Cox posted a career-best performance of five receptions for 111 yards and Rodrigo Blankenship kicked four field goals for the Colts. Khari Willis, T.J. Carrie and Kenny Moore II had the interceptions and DeForest Buckner recorded a safety.

Cousins was just 11-of-26 passing for 113 yards in addition to the interceptions for the Vikings (0-2). Dalvin Cook rushed for 63 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries but Minnesota totaled just 175 yards and 12 first downs.

Indianapolis had 354 yards, 24 first downs and controlled the ball for 38 minutes, 25 seconds.

Approximately 2,500 fans attended the contest at Lucas Oil Stadium in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The Colts decided on the figure after dissecting NFL and Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

Minnesota received a 21-yard field goal from Dan Bailey after moving 75 yards on 13 plays on the opening drive and then repeatedly sputtered on offense.

Indianapolis controlled possession for the remainder of the contest with short passes and runs by Taylor, who carried 26 times and became the first Colts rookie to top 100 rushing yards in a game since Vick Ballard had 105 against the Houston Texans on Dec. 16, 2012.

The Colts moved ahead to stay on Taylor's 5-yard run with 11:45 left in the second quarter. The defense got in the act for the team's next two points as Denico Autry pressured Cousins in the end zone and Buckner finished him off for the sack and safety to make it 9-3 with 4:54 remaining in the half.

Blankenship booted field goals of 28 and 38 yards later in the half to give Indianapolis a 15-3 advantage. He added a 38-yard field goal with 9:27 left in the third quarter to increase his team's lead to 15.

The Vikings had just 17 yards in the third quarter, and Cousins was 0-for-3 passing with an interception in the stanza.

The Colts remained in control in the final period as Rivers tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Pascal and Blankenship kicked a 44-yard field goal to make it 28-3.

Cook scored on a 3-yard run and added a two-point conversion run with 5:20 left as the Vikings trimmed their deficit to 17.

--Field Level Media

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