The Minnesota Vikings came into their game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium knowing that they needed a victory to, realistically, keep their playoff hopes alive.
At least, we think they knew that. Because they certainly didn’t play like it.
In as embarrassing and lackluster a performance as we’ve seen from the Vikings in a long time, the competitive portion of Minnesota’s 2016 season ended on Sunday in a 34-6 blowout loss to the Colts.
Indianapolis scored on each of their first two possessions, first on a 48-yard field goal by longtime veteran Adam Vinatieri. It appeared that Vinatieri had a second field goal on the Colts’ second drive, but a really dumb penalty on Minnesota defensive tackle Linval Joseph gave the Colts a fresh set of downs at the 1-yard line. Indianapolis took advantage, as Robert Turbin went over from a yard out to give the Colts a touchdown and a 10-0 lead.
Indianapolis added another touchdown midway through the second quarter, as Andrew Luck found tight end Erik Swoope for a 27-yard touchdown pass to make the score 17-0. The visitors continued to pour it on before halftime, as a 4-yard touchdown run by Robert Turbin made the score 24-0. Just to add a little more insult to injury, the Colts got another three points after an interception by Sam Bradford, as Vinatieri connected from 50 yards out to make it 27-0 going into the locker room at halftime.
The Vikings did finally manage to get on the board late in the third quarter, as a 32-yard field goal by Kai Forbath cut the deficit to 27-3. Indianapolis scored on the first play of the fourth quarter, as Luck found Phillip Dorsett wide open against Anthony Harris for a 50-yard touchdown to make the score 34-3. The Vikings got another field goal. . .hooray. . .as Forbath connected from 51 in the fourth quarter to make it 34-6.
The Colts pulling Luck late in the contest in favor of Scott Tolzien. Luck certainly earned the day off with his performance. On the afternoon, he completed 21-of-28 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, he wasn’t sacked at all by the Vikings and took just two hits. Given that the Colts were starting three rookies on their offensive line, including one that had all of six NFL snaps coming into today’s contest, it was a bad time for the Vikings’ defensive front to disappear.
For the Colts, Frank Gore became the third running back to go over 100 yards against the Vikings this season, as he got 101 yards on 26 carries. Robert Turbin chipped in with two rushing touchdowns. Erik Swoope and Phillip Dorsett each had 50 yards receiving and a touchdown for the Vikings. Swoope’s came on three catches, while Dorsett had just one long catch on the day.
Looking at the Vikings’ statistics, Sam Bradford put up decent boxscore numbers once again, as he completed 32-of-42 passes for 291 yards and an interception. Kyle Rudolph led the Vikings in receiving with 97 yards on eight receptions. Adrian Peterson did pretty much nothing in his return, although he “led” the team in rushing with 22 yards on six carries. He also had a big fumble deep in Indianapolis territory.
The Vikings fall to 7-7 on the season, and are all but mathematically eliminated from postseason contention with this loss. They will travel to Green Bay on Saturday for their final road game of the season against the Packers. Indianapolis approves to 7-7, and they have a tough one next week as they travel to the west coast to take on the Oakland Raiders.
The competitive portion of the Minnesota Vikings’ 2016 season ended on Sunday with an embarrassing 34-6 loss at home to the Indianapolis Colts. Thanks to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!