There is a lot to unpack from the Colts dominant 28-11 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. The performance from the team was night-and-day different from the one they put out against Jacksonville just a week ago. Although, there is one thing we learned last week that may have been confirmed earlier today. That being…..
Jonathan Taylor is as Good as Advertised
The “Jonathon Taylor for Offensive Rookie of the Year” hype train only made the rounds in central Indy before the season, but the tracks are going nationwide after his performance earlier today. The 2019 All-American notched his first 100-yard outing, to go along with his first career touchdown, in just his first start. Many were worried the run game would take a step back with Marlon Mack’s season-ending injury but if Taylor can keep this play up not only will it not miss a beat, it may even be better.
The Defense Proved it has Elite Potential
After an abysmal week one showing, the defense completely flipped the script in week two. Allowing just one touchdown along with forcing three turnovers and a safety, they pressured Vikings QB Kirk Cousins into one of the worst games of his entire career. After doing his best turnstile impression last week, Deforest Buckner was able to rack up a sack-and-a-half in the trenches. A two-game sample size isn’t enough to truly see what this defense is made of, but holding an offense to 11 after it scored 34 the previous week is a great sign.
You Shouldn’t Lose Faith in Rodrigo Blankenship
Remember when a Colts kicker going 4-for-4 on field goals was an expectation and not a takeaway? It’s almost impossible that the next Adam Vinatieri is going to be walking into Lucas Oil anytime soon, but Blankenship showed today that its possible he’s the new long-term answer at kicker. Nobody scored more points than Hot Rod on the day and he looked as strong as he did during his time at the University of Georgia (where he put up the second-most points in SEC history), which is a great sign after his early miss against the Jags last week. Respect the specs baby.
The Jury is Still Out on Phillip Rivers
The Jekyll-and-Hyde act from the former Chargers QB may have been expected, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating. One second he’s throwing 40-yard dimes to Mo-Allie Cox, and the next he’s hitting the bottom of the uprights on an overthrow in the red zone on 3rd down (and not even seeing Jonathan Taylor when he could have moonwalked across the goal-line on a 5-yard check down). With how stout Indy’s run game is, Rivers most likely won’t be tasked with having to put up 400+ yards to win a game, but the rookie mistakes have to stop. The Colts may have a two-headed monster (maybe even three after an impressive day from Jordan Wilkins) at running back, but Rivers needs to be able to lead when called upon to do so. The run game can only get you so far in today’s NFL.
Indianapolis will stay home next week when they take on the winless New York Jets at 4:05 Eastern on CBS.
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