Luck eludes pursuers, and defense collapses

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 17, 2012 - 9:18 AM

The Colts' rookie QB had his way with Vikings defenders, moving the ball smoothly on key scoring drives at the end of each half.

INDIANAPOLIS -- A rookie quarterback and four backups on the offensive line didn't prevent the Colts from torching the Vikings defense in clutch situations at the end of each half in the Colts' 23-20 victory at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.

On their final drives in the second and fourth quarters, the Colts moved with ease, going 64 yards in 1 minute, 4 seconds for a touchdown before halftime and 45 yards in 23 seconds to set up the game-winning 53-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri with eight seconds left.

The late-game collapse was particularly concerning for a team that believes it significantly upgraded its secondary this season with the return of Chris Cook and Antoine Winfield and the addition of rookies Harrison Smith and Josh Robinson.

"That's embarrassing," defensive end Jared Allen said of the Colts' final drive. "I don't know. You know, it's just, I got nothing to say. ... We got to find a way to get the ball down."

By the middle of the second quarter, Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck was working behind four backups when center Samson Satele went out because of a knee injury. Left guard Joe Reitz (knee) and right tackle Winston Justice (concussion) were inactive, replaced by former Vikings practice squad player Seth Olsen and Jeff Linkenbach, respectively. Right guard Mike McGlynn moved to center and newly signed Trai Essex to right guard when Satele left the game.

Yet the Vikings managed only two sacks and no takeaways as Luck posted a 107.5 passer rating in his second NFL game.

"[Luck] is elusive and has good pocket presence," Allen said. "Most quarterbacks we face, we'd have had six or seven sacks today."

In his last possession of each half, Luck completed six of eight passes (including one spike to stop the clock) for 93 yards to four different receivers. Reggie Wayne caught three of them for 59 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown on a perfectly thrown pass to beat the Vikings' two-deep coverage with seven seconds left in the first half.

Lined up in their nickel defense, the Vikings had middle linebacker Erin Henderson trying to run step for step with Wayne. When the ball is thrown, the safeties, who are playing deep half, are supposed to provide help over the middle.

Wayne got behind Henderson and caught the ball before either Smith or Mistral Raymond could close in.

"It's coverage, it's rush, it's everything working together," Raymond said. "And we didn't execute any of it."

The Vikings came back from that touchdown to tie the score late. But a soft zone coverage allowed Luck to complete back-to-back 20-yard passes with little resistance.

"He got the ball out pretty fast all day," defensive tackle Kevin Williams said. "And guys were just open. It's just something we have to fix."

If it's not fixed, the Vikings are in trouble. Jacksonville's Blaine Gabbert and Luck -- two youngsters with a combined 15 starts before they played the Vikings -- just spent the past two weeks completing a combined 61.4 percent of their passes for 484 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 101.1 passer rating against the Vikings.

  • related content

  • Colts quarterback Andrew Luck evaded the grasp of Brian Robison in the end zone in the third quarter.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 3 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 2
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Dallas 117 FINAL
Orlando 92
New York 80 FINAL
Toronto 83
San Antonio 87 FINAL
Houston 96
Miami 104 FINAL
Memphis 98
Minnesota 113 FINAL
Chicago 112
Phoenix 105 FINAL
Utah 100
Sacramento 93 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
Denver 112 FINAL
Golden State 119
Portland 99 FINAL
LA Clippers 89
Dallas 3 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Tampa Bay 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Colorado 7
Carolina 3 FINAL
Edmonton 6
Columbus 1 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
North Texas 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Houston 1 FINAL
Chicago 2
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who wins and loses in football this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close