— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) September 17, 2020
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 18, 2020
|382||Total Offensive Yards||445|
|7.8||Yards Per Offensive Play||6.4|
|134 (22)||Rushing Yards (Attempts)||88 (22)|
|6.1||Rushing Yards Per Attempt||4|
|1-0 (-1)||Turnovers-Takeaways (+/-)||2-0 (-2)|
Stats provided by Profootballreference.com
Matchups within the matchup
By: Josh Frey
Only about 12% of teams that start 0-2 can recover enough to make the playoffs. Because of this, week two is very important for both the Colts and Vikings who have started 0-1. In order for the Vikings to win, there are three individual matchups that they must control to keep an edge on Indianapolis.
Bisi Johnson vs. Xavier Rhodes
Johnson needs to get more involved in the offense for the Vikings to win this game. Adam Thielen was great in week one, but the lack of other players making plays hindered Minnesota’s offense. Johnson caught three of four targets, but none of them came in the first half. By the time he got involved, the game was all but over.
He has the perfect opportunity to bounce back against a weak Colts’ secondary, though. Xavier Rhodes may have nothing but love for his former team, but they should target him as much as possible.
Rhodes’ matchup was targeted three times in week one and caught all three for 33 yards, including the game-winning touchdown. Because of Rock Ya-Sin’s superior coverage ability, Johnson will probably be matched up with Rhodes for the majority of the game.
Viking Guards vs. DeForest Buckner
Over his first four years in the NFL, DeForest Buckner has proven himself to be a force from the defensive tackle position. According to pro-football-reference.com, Buckner has averaged just over one quarterback hit per game throughout his career. He has been versatile and able to rush from the interior or the edge.
The Vikings line as a whole was surprisingly good against Green Bay as they didn’t surrender a single sack in week one. However, they didn’t face a star to the level of Buckner’s ability (also Kenny Clark left the game with a groin injury), and the one position that was weak was right guard, played by Pat Elflein, who gave up five hurries.
With Elflein on IR now, there will be a new starter at guard, and I would expect Buckner to try to expose the weakness. The Vikings are going to have to control Buckner in order to give Dalvin Cook running lanes and Cousins time to throw.
Yannick Ngakoue vs. Anthony Castonzo
Ngakoue had a very quiet first game with the Vikings. He played 44 defensive snaps, but he didn’t record any tackles. Anthony Castonzo is the veteran left tackle of a great Colts offensive line. Castonzo played every offensive snap in 2019, and that continued through week one of 2020.
These two stars will be lining up on the same side of the field in week two. Ngakoue has to be able to put some pressure on Rivers, and he must help contain rookie Jonathan Taylor on the ground for the Vikings to win this week two matchup.