Vikings fail to pressure Luck in loss

NFL Showcase Series
By Bo Mitchell

Andrew Luck keeps Colts playoffs chances alive with a 2 TD, 0 Interception performance

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The Indianapolis Colts stunned the Minnesota Vikings 34-6 on Sunday, dominating in every facet of the game to remain alive in the hunt for a spot in the postseason. The most surprising aspect of the lopsided victory was the relative ease with which the Colts were able to handle the Vikings’ vaunted defense, especially in terms of protecting much-maligned quarterback Andrew Luck.

Entering the game, the Vikings pass rush appeared to be a mismatch for a Colts offensive line that was starting three rookies on the right side and was on its 35th different personnel combination of the season.

Only the Browns (48) had allowed more sacks than the Colts (40) entering play in Week 15 and Indy’s 111 hurries allowed were the most in the league. Meanwhile, the Vikings entered the game ranked fourth in the NFL in sacks (35) and second in both quarterback hits (97) and hurries (182).

On paper, it looked like Luck would need a lot of luck to finish the game in one piece. As things turned out, however, his line not only held up but kept him completely clean – not allowing a single sack on the day. In the instances Luck was pressured at all, he was able to step up in the pocket or extend the play by scrambling.

With ample time to find receivers and a workable running game to add balance, the Colts were able to dominate time of possession and wear out the Vikings defense.

Instead, it was the Vikings patch-work offensive line that broke down against the normally tepid Colts pass rush, allowing Sam Bradford to be sacked five times while intercepting him once and forcing him to fumble once.

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