Adrian Peterson ran the Vikings onto the Indianapolis side of the field on his team's first five possessions. They were as deep as the Colts 9. The result of these five excursions was two field goals.

Another Ryan Longwell field goal followed at the end of the half. This was a 53-yarder that came after quarterback Tarvaris Jackson went back-to-back with his two most successful throws -- 23 yards to Visanthe (Vise-Grip) Shiancoe and 22 yards to Bobby Wade.

That made it 9-0 for the Vikings at halftime, a lead that was abysmally short of what it could have been considering Peterson's first-half domination.

The Colts were playing with a 265-pound nose tackle in Eric Foster. The undersized rookie was getting rolled, and Peterson smashed through the gaps for 118 yards on 14 carries.

That's 8.4 yards a pop while being used heavily, and yet the Vikings managed to turn all of this dynamic work from Peterson into six total points.

How was that possible?

"I feel like I didn't do enough," Peterson said. ''I left a lot out there on the field."

Presumably, he meant points -- and the Colts must have agreed. They were going to pay with a touchdown or two if they didn't intensify the efforts to stop Peterson in the second half.

"They changed some at halftime," he said. "They had [safety] Bob Sanders coming up and trying to keep me wide."

The Colts continued to contain Peterson even after Sanders, his team's most important defender, left with an ankle injury early in the fourth quarter.

Peterson had 15 carries for 42 yards in the second half. The totals were 29 carries for 160 yards. He became the first Vikings runner to get 100 yards in each of the season's first two games.

Good start to his second season?

"Not at all," he said. "We didn't win the game. Going into the game we knew we had to get '7' when we had our chances. We moved the ball, but we didn't come up with big plays and get in the end zone."

The Vikings were leading 15-0 on five Longwell field goals late in the third quarter. The Colts scored 18 points in the final 16 1/2 minutes to steal an 18-15 victory.

Peterson has 48 carries for 263 yards and is 94 yards ahead of last year's pace after two games. And his team is 0-2.

"How do I feel? Crushed," he said. "I'm crushed right now."

The offensive failures in the second half led to boos that were unmistakably aimed at Jackson. Peterson was asked if he had a reaction to the home crowd booing his quarterback.

"I don't know how to explain that," he said. "I wasn't focused on that at all."

Peterson repeated several times the theme that could be found in all corners of the locker room: This was a game given to Indianapolis more than earned by the Colts.

Way back when, there was a famous moment in Vikings history when quarterback Joe Kapp and middle linebacker Lonnie Warwick exchanged punches several hours after a loss to Green Bay.

Tequila helped to fuel the argument, but what made it unique was it started with Kapp blaming his offense for the loss and Warwick blaming his defense.

There was some of that in the Dome's home locker room on Sunday.

"If you let a team hang around, this is what can happen," center Matt Birk said. "They have players -- some great players -- who know how to win games if you give them a chance. If we had scored a couple of touchdowns, they wouldn't have had the chance."

Farther down the row of lockers, high-priced pass rusher Jared Allen was blaming the defense for allowing three scoring drives down the stretch.

"Someone has to come up with a big play," Allen said. "You have to hit the quarterback right when he's getting ready to throw, get a fumble or interception, and win the game.

"We have to finish people. When this defense has a 15-point lead, the game has to be over."

Allen said he took several glances at a Dome scoreboard as he left the field.

"I was looking up there expecting to see 28-7 for us, but it wasn't," he said. "It was 18-15 for Indianapolis. Tough to take."

Patrick Reusse can be heard weekdays on AM-1500 KSTP at 6:45 and 7:45 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. • preusse@startribune.com