Some Vikings tried to put a positive spin on the loss while others were visibly frustrated with the manner in which they lost. Plus, get more than 40 notes that help tell the story of the Vikings' 18-15 loss.
If someone had said heading into Sunday's game that the Vikings would lose by three points to the Indianapolis Colts
, many fans could have come away from it saying the Vikings didn't earn a win, but showed they can hang with the best teams in the league.
But how the Vikings lost 18-15 Sunday in their home opener was much more painful. In a game thoroughly dominated by the Vikings for most of three quarters, they built a 15-0 lead. But, in the game's final 17 minutes, the Colts outscored the Vikings 18-0 for the win.
"It sucks," defensive end Jared Allen
said. "It's one of those games where, at the end, you look at the scoreboard and think it should be 28-7 or 28-6 and it says 18-15 and we just lost. It sucks."
In the season-opening loss to the Packers, it was big plays that did in the Vikings. It was the lack of big plays, especially in the Indianapolis territory, that was the Vikings' undoing Sunday. The Vikings got into Colts territory on each of their first eight drives, but came away with five field goals. The Colts crossed midfield just once in the game's first 40 minutes – and even then, they only got as deep as the Minnesota 42 – but when they needed the plays late, they got them.
"We were just a few plays away," wide receiver Bobby Wade
said. "That's tough to deal with. It's a good team that came in here. You can't take nothing away from them. They had the ball late and made plays. We kept them in the game even though we were controlling them. We were just getting threes instead of sixes."
The quiet locker room following the game belied the mood of the team, which had a chance to beat Green Bay in the final two minutes before a Tarvaris Jackson
interception negated that chance and never trailed in Sunday's game until three seconds remained. But, if the team is to turn things around, the knowledge that they can beat quality teams is what they intend to rally around.
"Obviously you want to win, but I also think you have to look at the big picture," kicker Ryan Longwell
said. "I think we're an improved team. It's just a play here and a play there. I think it's something we can correct and go on a run."
But, seeing as close doesn't count, the Vikings' 0-2 is identical in the standings to Detroit's 0-2 in a pair of blowout losses. GAME DAY NOTES
The Colts' fourth-quarter comeback was sparked by Manning, who finished the game completing 26 of 42 passes for 311 yards and one TD. Most of the damage came in the second half. After completing 13 of 21 passes for just
86 yards in the first half, he completed the exact same number of passes (13 of 21) in the second half, but those completions gained 225 yards.
The Colts finished with a 321-299 edge in total yardage. The Colts had
296 yards passing and just 25 yards rushing on 19 carries. The Vikings had 180 yards rushing and 119 yards passing.
The Vikings converted just 2 of 13 third-down opportunities, while the Colts converted 6 of 15 third-down chances.
The Vikings couldn't blame penalties for the loss. After a flag-fest in the opener, Minnesota had just two penalties for five yards Sunday.
The battle between Adrian and Joseph Addai turned out to be a mismatch. A.D. finished with 29 carries for 160 yards, while Addai had 15 rushes for just 20 yards.
Anthony Gonzalez was the main receiver that killed the Vikings. With his 58-yard reception and lateral to Reggie Wayne, he finished the game with nine catches for 137 yards.
Jackson completed 14 of 24 passes for 130 yards – 66 on three completions to Bobby Wade, Visanthe Shiancoe and Aundrae Allison – and 64 on his other
11 completions combined.
Neither Bernard Berrian nor Sidney Rice had a reception Sunday and Marvin Harrison had just one for 16 yards.
The Vikings didn't have a drive that went three-and-out until their final drive of the game.
Through two games, Adrian Peterson not only has 48 rushes for 263 yards, but he also leads the team with five receptions.
Through two games, Berrian and Rice have combined to catch just five passes for 69 yards.
The Vikings' two losses have been by a total of eight points.
The Vikings have allowed just 10 points in the first half of games and 32 in the second half.
Through two games, Jackson has a passer rating of just 64.8.
In their first two games, kicker Ryan Longwell has accounted for 22 of the team's 34 points. The Vikings have scored their points on seven field goals and two touchdowns. The Vikings have scored nine times, while their opponents have scored just six times. The difference is that they have allowed five touchdowns and two field goals.
Bob Sanders injured his ankle late in the third quarter and was sidelined the rest of the game. The Vikings were unable to take advantage of that break.
Harrison didn't catch a pass until the final minute of the third quarter.
Midway through the third quarter, Sidney Rice suffered a knee injury. Rice returned to the field on the next series.
What a difference a penalty can make. On their first drive of the third quarter, the Colts had to punt. On the play, Aundrae Allison fumbled the return and covered the ball on the Vikings 20. However, the Colts were flagged for an illegal formation and had to punt again. This time, instead of starting from their own 20, Allison had a 27-yard punt return to put the Vikings offense in business on the Colts 46-yard line.
Taylor returned the second-half kickoffs for the Vikings, the second straight game in which the Vikings went with a different kick returner in the second half.
The Vikings' domination of the stat sheet was lopsided in the first half.
They had 188 total yards (137 rushing, 51 passing), as opposed to just 85 (four rushing, 81 passing) for the Colts.
The Vikings had just one penalty in the first half, that coming on a punt deep in Colts territory that was sent out to the 20-yard line and not awarded any yardage.
Peterson became the first Viking to ever rush for more than 100 yards in each of the first two games. At halftime, A.D. had 118 yards on 14 carries. Taylor added three rushes for 17 yards. Jackson completed five of nine passes – three of them to Peterson and one each to Visanthe Shiancoe and Bobby Wade in the final minute of 23 and 22 yards respectively.
Wade's catch in the last minute of the second quarter was his first of the season. He led the team in receptions last year.
Manning completed 13 of 21 passes for 86 yards in the first half, for a passer of 50.9 (more than 21 rating points lower than Jackson's).
Addai had just four yards rushing on nine carries in the first half.
Of Manning's 13 completions in the first half, five were to second-year pro Gonzalez and four were to Santi, a rookie tight end.
In the first half, the four starting wide receivers – Wayne, Harrison, Berrian and Rice – had no catches.
The last time the Colts were held scoreless in a first half was Oct. 8,
2006 against Tennessee.
When left tackle Tonu Ugoh went down with a knee injury in the second quarter, the Colts moved guard Charlie Johnson to left tackle – giving the team rookies playing at both center and guard.
The Colts didn't cross midfield until 12:30 remained in the first half.
The Vikings dominated the first-quarter stats. They held the ball for
9:05 of the quarter and held a huge 92-24 advantage in total yards. The Vikings had 85 yards rushing to minus-3 for the Colts and Indy held a 27-7 edge in passing yards.
Individually for the Vikings, A.D. was the story in the first quarter. He rushed eight times for 71 yards and had all three of the team's receptions. Taylor had two carries for 13 yards and Jackson completed three of six passes for seven yards.
The Colts stars were nonexistent in the first quarter. Manning completed five of seven passes for 27 yards, but thanks to the Winfield interception in the first quarter, he had a passer rating of just 38.1. Addai had five carries for minus-3 yards and neither Wayne nor Harrison caught a pass.
Peterson set a franchise record for most rushing yards in the first quarter of a game. The old record of 66 yards was held by Taylor against Arizona Nov. 26, 2006.
Ray Edwards made a huge play in the first quarter. With the Colts on their own 10-yard line to start a drive, Addai was tackled for an 8-yard loss by Edwards that got the fans riled up and killed the drive.
The Vikings dodged a bullet midway through the first quarter, when it appeared Charles Gordon fumbled a punt on his own 25-yard line that was recovered by the Colts. But a penalty for running into the return man negated the play and allowed the Vikings to keep the ball.
Peterson wasted little time letting the Colts know he was going to be a handful. On his first carry, he took a run right, stopped, came back to the left side and raced 29 yards.
On the opening drive, Peterson accounted for all 31 yards the Vikings gained to get into field goal position – 30 rushing on two carries and one reception for one yard.
Antoine Winfield's interception of Manning on the opening drive was the fourth time in his career that Winfield he has picked off the Colts star. That ties him for the most interception against any QB Winfield has faced – the other being a quarterback who will only get in the Hall of Fame if he buys a ticket (Joey Harrington).
The pre-game blowing of the horn to signal the introduction of the Vikings was done by linebacker and special teams ace Heath Farwell, who was lost for the season with a knee injury during the preseason.
The Vikings defense was introduced to the crowd before the game and the last player to come out was Jared Allen – making his regular-season debut at the Metrodome.
The attendance was 63,585 – the 107th straight sellout at the Metrodome since 1998. That streak may be in jeopardy with what may be 5,000 tickets still available for next Sunday's game with the Panthers.