Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts run all over sluggish Minnesota Vikings in 28-11 victory
The Colts get off the mark in 2020 following their Week One defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars
By Cameron Hogwood
Last Updated: 21/09/20 4:35am
Jonathan Taylor flourished in the absence of Marlon Mack on the ground with 26 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown as the Indianapolis Colts strolled to a 28-11 victory over a lacklustre Minnesota Vikings.
Quarterback Philip Rivers finished 19 of 24 passing for 214 yards, one touchdown and one interception in a game that saw tight end Mo Alie-Cox shine as starter in place of the injured Jack Doyle with five catches for 111 yards.
Kirk Cousins endured a miserable afternoon with 11 passes for 113 yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions, while the Vikings were similarly uninspiring on defense as they continue to miss star defensive end Danielle Hunter.
- Colts stats: Philip Rivers, 19/24, 214 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Rushing leader: Jonathan Taylor, 26 carries, 101 yards, 1 TD
- Receiving leader: Mo Alie-Cox, five catches, 111 yards
The Vikings opened the scoring with a 21-yard field goal from Dan Bailey before Indianapolis were dealt a blow when second-year wide receiver Parris Campbell exited the game with a knee injury.
Eric Wilson came up with the game's first interception as he pounced on a loose ball knocked out of the hands of Alie-Cox, ending a 16-play drive led by rookie back Taylor.
Having forced the Vikings to punt on the next drive, the Colts took the lead with a five-yard touchdown run from Taylor and later extended their lead with a combined effort from DeForest Buckner and Denico Autry to sack Cousins in the end zone for a safety.
Rodrigo Blankenship's 28-yard field goal put the Colts further ahead, before he was at hand to nail a 38-yarder after Khari Willis returned the ball 43-yards from an interception on a deep pass intended for Adam Thielen.
- Vikings stats: Kirk Cousins, 11/26, 113 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs
- Rushing leader: Dalvin Cook, 14 carries, 63 yards, 1 TD
- Receiving leader: Justin Jefferson, three catches, 44 yards
After ending the first half with an interception from a hopeful deep pass, Cousins' second half began in a similar fate when his effort tipped off the hands of Olabisi Johnson and into the grasp of Kenny Moore, teeing up another 38-yard field goal from Blankenship.
The Colts defense continued to stifle a Vikings outfit desperately lacking intensity in all departments and soon capitalised again with a two-yard touchdown from Zach Pascal, set up by Rivers' 27-yard connection with the impressive Alie-Cox in a 10-play, 82-yard drive.
|Vikings 3-0 Colts||Dan Bailey 21-yard field goal|
|Vikings 3-7 Colts||Jonathan Taylor five-yard rushing TD (extra point)|
|Vikings 3-9 Colts||Kirk Cousins sacked in endzone for safety|
|Vikings 3-12 Colts||Rodrigo Blankenship 28-yard field goal|
|Vikings 3-15 Colts||Rodrigo Blankenship 38-yard field goal|
|Vikings 3-18 Colts||Rodrigo Blankenship 38-yard field goal|
|Vikings 3-25 Colts||Zach Pascal two-yard TD catch (extra point)|
|Vikings 3-28 Colts||Rodrigo Blankenship 44-yard field goal|
|Vikings 11-28 Colts||Dalvin Cook three-yard rushing TD (two point conversion)|
Blankenship was on the money again with a 44-yard field goal to put the Colts up 28-3, to which the Vikings responded through Cook with a three-yard touchdown run followed by a two-point conversion up the middle.
It was too little too late for Mike Zimmer's men, though, as the Colts ran down the clock to pick up their first win of the season.
New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley suffered what is feared to be a season-ending ACL tear in the second quarter of the 17-13 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
Injuries wreaked havoc generally around the NFL, with San Francisco 49ers suffering four of them as they rallied to beat the New York Jets 31-13, while Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams and Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock, among others, also went down..
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters after the game that 2019 defensive rookie of the year Nick Bosa and fellow defensive end Solomon Thomas both likely have ACL tears, while quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) and running back Raheem Mostert (knee) both sat out the second half with injuries.
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