The Indianapolis Colts gave up two touchdowns to the Minnesota Vikings in the final five minutes of the game to see a 20-6 lead evaporate, but Andrew Luck led a drive with 31 seconds left to set up a game-winning field goal by Adam Vinatieri, and the Colts escaped, 23-20. Minnesota brought the score within seven on a Christian Ponder touchdown pass with just more than five minutes remaining, then scored again with 31 seconds remaining to come from behind and seemingly force overtime.
But Luck, who earned the first victory of his career, threw two consecutive 20-yard passes after the Colts got the ball on their own 20-yard line. A 5-yard penalty by the Vikings moved the line of scrimmage to the Minnesota 35, and Vinatieri hit a 53-yarder with seconds remaining to take the victory
Luck was steady, if not solid in the victory, throwing for 224 yards and two touchdowns without throwing a pick.
The two teams exchanged field goals in the second quarter before Luck found Reggie Wayne for his second touchdown of the day. In the third quarter, Vinatieri hit another field goal from 45 yards out to give Indianapolis a 20-6 lead that looked like it would hold.
Ponder found Stephen Burton from seven yards out, then Kyle Rudolph from six yards out ,in the final two Minnesota possessions. After that, Luck set up Indianapolis for that improbable final score to take the lead just before time ran out.
For the record, Andrew Luck took his team 55 yards in less than 31 seconds behind three backup offensive linemen for his first win. #Colts— George Bremer (@gmbremer) September 16, 2012
The big winner: Andrew Luck
The rookie quarterback was much less mistake-prone a week after he threw three interceptions. When you also account for his huge final drive of completion after completion, and it looks like the Indianapolis Colts are in more than capable hands.
The big loser: Minnesota's defense
Defensive end Everson Griffen was called for a defensive offside penalty after Luck had moved the ball from the Colts' 40-yard line to the 40-yard line of the Vikings, giving Indianapolis five yards to make a 58-yard field goal into a more manageable 53-yarder. That said, the defense probably shouldn't have allowed the Colts to move so quickly with only 31 seconds to work with.
Odds: The Colts pulled the upset after being labeled as three-point underdogs in this one.
Fantasy outlook: Donnie Avery
Luck targeted wide receiver Donnie Avery 10 times and Avery caught nine balls for 111 yards on the day.
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