Minnesota Vikings vs. Indianapolis Colts Spread Pick
Minnesota Vikings (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Indianapolis Colts (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
Week 2 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 1PM EDT
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
Point Spread: MIN +3/IND -3 (Intertops - 100% Bonus up to $150!)
Over/Under Total: 48.5
The Minnesota Vikings come to Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday for a week two matchup with the Indianapolis Colts. Neither team can be too happy with week one, especially the Colts. On Sunday, they blew a lead and, as big favorites, lost to the Jaguars, 27-20, in a rough debut for QB Philip Rivers. On top of that, they have lost key weapon Marlon Mack, who goes on IR after a torn Achilles. While the Vikes also came up short in week one, at least it came against a good Packers team. Still, in falling behind 29-10 going into the fourth quarter before making it look closer than it was with a 24-point fourth, it was a pretty sour debut at home for the Vikings who look to atone in a tricky road spot in week two.
Concerning Issues With Minnesota
First of all, regardless of what the stats say, there are times where Kirk Cousins leaves a lot to be desired at quarterback. On Sunday, he was 19-for-25 for 259 yards and two touchdowns, and that alone isn’t cause for critique. Until you see him. There’s just something about the way he commandeers this offense that sometimes makes him seem like less than what his stat-line would suggest. And while Dalvin Cook is a top weapon and Adam Thielen a reliable target, losing Stefon Diggs robs them of even more of their minimal explosive potential.
After watching them get torched by Aaron Rodgers, questions are naturally going to loom around Minnesota’s young corners and largely-revamped secondary. Rodgers’ stat-line was nearly perfect, with Davante Adams catching 14 balls, as the GB air-attack ran rampant over this Vikes’ secondary. Say what you will about Philip Rivers, but he can still gash a defense aerially, which would loom as a potential matchup concern this week. They’ll have a chance to make plays on “D,” but they weren’t stopping much of anything on Sunday in week one.
Colts: What Happened?
The Colts were rightfully identified by many as an X-factor in the preseason, so why couldn’t they take care of the Jags? Things looked good initially, with Rivers connecting aerially, as the run-game looked to be running smoothly. Mack going down was a big hit. What might even be more detrimental is Rivers’ interception-prone ways and how it undermines the whole team effort. This isn’t the seventies, where a team can absorb a QB throwing picks left and right, just as long as he compiles massive yardage. And it’s not an isolated issue with Rivers. Whether his team wins or covers the spread is heavily tied to whether or not he gives the ball away in the second half when the chips are in the middle of the pot.
With Minshew completing 19 of 20 passes against the Colts, the secondary wasn’t very impactful. The front was disruptive earlier in the game, living up to some of its billing, but when it was crunch-time, the key cogs of this Indy “D” were conspicuously-absent. The run-stop wasn’t on-point, and they allowed a maligned Jacksonville offense to be the best they can be. And those turnovers late appeared to leave the Indy defense a little spent in week one action, with the truncated preseason. Then again, teams usually have numerous poor one-game windows in a season and don’t get judged too harshly for it, so maybe we should temper the bad feelings we got watching both of these teams in week one.
It’s not often these teams face each other. It’s a little bit of a tricky road-spot for the Vikings. One really struggles even to remember when these teams played each other—it’s that obscure of a matchup. And when looking at the matchups, every piece of analysis is countered with another thought to the point where it becomes somewhat futile to break the game down along those lines. You have two flawed quarterbacks who also have the ability to get their offense moving up and down the field. Both offenses are about as equally explosive and also as equally inconsistent. Minnesota has the more proven front seven on defense, but their secondary looks dicey, which Rivers could exploit if he doesn’t throw picks. Indy’s offensive line is a lot better, but now they’re missing a key back. You start to see how the conversation tends to go in circles when breaking down this game.
This game begs to tap more into the human element. And that means high urgency for both teams. For Rivers, he surely has to be feeling like he has to atone for basically being responsible for upending the whole team effort on Sunday. Even with the Chargers, he would usually come back stronger when his errors led to a loss the previous week. For a team in the Vikes that fancied a playoff run, it might be a tough road-assignment, but it’s a must-win. Losing to Green Bay is one thing, but an 0-2 start would be a deflating start to the season, to say the least.
Lay the Small Number on the Home Fave
The Vikings look to at least possess the ball on Sunday, as they held the ball all of 18:44 on Sunday. I look for the Minnesota defense to answer some questions leading up to game day. But the major questions looming in that secondary aren’t going to get addressed between now and Sunday. Losing Mack was a bad setback, but the Colts’ backfield’s depth should pay off at least some. I see their front-seven keeping Cook in relative check, while Minnesota might lack the targets other than Thielen to fully test this Indy secondary. In a game where there are a lot of moving parts, I see Rivers taking these Minnesota corners to school, at least to the extent where they cross the finish line a nose ahead at home this week.
Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Indianapolis Colts minus 3 points.
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