Ross Jacobs has been an FFM correspondent on NFL games and NFL Draft matters for the past few years. He is going to be writing up some of his notes on various games he’s watching/studying this year. Typically, he will have written/submitted his work before mine, so this is a look at the same game with different eyes...and you can compare and contrast or find some new takeaways.
2020 Week 2 Analysis: Vikings @ Colts (By Ross Jacobs)
-The Colts just slowly crushed the life out of the Vikings here. This was an incredibly one-sided game, and the Vikings never really had a chance. If the Colts had scored TD's instead of FG's this might have been 40 or 50 to 11 instead. Even the Vikings final TD was just a garbage time score.
-The big story of this game was the heavy dose of rookie Jonathan Taylor and wow was he impressive. The Vikings have a lot of flaws but run defense is not one, and yet Taylor consistently found ways to pick up 2-3 extra yards on nearly every run. I hope you got in on him last week because he's going to finish as a top 4 RB this year and has a very good shot at #1 overall.
-As impressive as Taylor was there was one player that stood out even above him and that was newly acquired Colt DeForest Buckner. I had completely forgotten the Colts traded for him and kept seeing this gigantic #99 destroying the Vikings line every other play. I had to go look it up because I could not figure out what Colts defensive lineman could possibly be this good. Then I saw it was Buckner and it all made sense. If Buckner plays the rest of the year like he did here he needs to be in consideration for Defensive Player of the Year because the Vikings couldn't even slow him down. He was tossing guys out of the way like they were children. Such a great addition to this defense.
-This is your new-look Colts offense. Lots of ground and pound from Taylor and let Rivers work off of playaction. The Colts are going to do this a lot to lesser teams. Just slowly grind them down and crush them. They'll have problems beating the better AFC teams though because Rivers isn't going to be able to throw them back into games. I could see Indy giving the Chiefs fits though because they are very similarly built to the Chargers and can run the ball straight at the Chiefs to expose their linebackers.
-The Colts defense seems to be pretty good after two weeks as well. They gave up 27 to the Jaguars, but a lot of that was stupid turnovers by Rivers. Even he can't possibly do that every game. They don't have the best secondary, but Buckner and star linebacker Darius Leonard form a powerful duo that's going to be tough to run and can create pressure on the opposing QB.
-The Vikings look like they could be in real trouble, but I think there are some signs they'll be ok. They've barely even had the ball on offense so far. The Packers dominated the first half of their game playing pitch and catch and holding Cousins to only 4 attempts. This game the Colts did nearly the same thing but with the run game. Taylor just ran the ball down their throats and every time the Vikings actually got the ball they were backed way up. In addition Cousins had 3 INTs here, but one was a Hail Mary right before half and a second was a ball that just tipped right off Adam Thielen's hands straight to a nearby Colt.
-The Vikings defense is a little worse off in my opinion. They do have a decent run defense but ran into a monster of an offensive line and RB here. It's the pass defense they need to worry about. They didn't get killed by the Colts, but they will have difficulty with better passing teams.
-Overall I'd say the Colts are absolutely in contention for the AFC South with the Titans. They might be the favorite. The Vikings aren't making the playoffs. I'm not sure they are a bottom 5 team in real life, but looking at this schedule they have a real possibility of finishing as one. They have a brutal slate this year. Titans, Texans, and Seahawks the next three weeks, and it doesn't get much easier after that. Buckle up Vikings fans. It's going to be a rough year.
-If you don't already have Jonathan Taylor this may be your last chance to get him. His performance kind of fell under the radar a little this week, but it won't for much longer.
-Hang in there with TY Hilton. I know it hurt this week, but he dropped an easy TD or his day would have been fine. He will get his numbers. This is definitely a run first offense now, but he's too good to stay down long. I thought he might be the new Keenan Allen, but that doesn't seem to be the case so far. Still he should be a fine WR2.
-Michael Pittman looked very good to my eyes. He's young and probably isn't going to get enough targeting consistently to matter for fantasy just yet, but two weeks in I'd say he's a future star.
-Adam Thielen had a down day, but he'll be fine too. The Vikings are going to be throwing a lot coming up and he's basically the only Viking receiver that can get open. I expect his efficiency to be down this year because Cousins isn't very good against better teams, but his volume will make up for it. Thielen is a safe WR1.
-Dalvin Cook is going to suffer for the same reasons. The Vikings are constantly going to be down in games and trying to catch up this year so the rushing numbers will probably be down. With so many other big name backs going down you have to hold Cook though. He's “the guy” and that's a valuable thing to have.