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Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
Lucas Oil Stadium will be as loud as it’s been in quite some time Sunday when No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck makes his much-anticipated home debut against fast-healing Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings. Luck, charged with the impossible task of replacing Peyton Manning, was up and down in his first start at Chicago last week. He was 23-for-45 for 309 yards with a touchdown and an interception and also lost a fumble. Luck’s arrival has provided fans with some reason for optimism after Indianapolis stumbled to a 2-14 season with Manning on the sidelines.
Luck will try to lead the Colts to an 11th straight home win in the series. Peterson, however, may have something to say about that.The four-time Pro Bowler ran for 84 yards and two touchdowns just eight months removed from major knee surgery in a win over Jacksonville last week. This is the first meeting since 2008, when Ryan Longwell kicked five field goals in an 18-15 win. Peterson ran for 160 yards on 29 carries in that contest.
ABOUT THE VIKINGS (1-0): Minnesota is one-third of the way toward matching its win total from last season after posting a 26-23 overtime win against Jacksonville in the opener. Peterson’s performance was a pleasant surprise after he’d been listed as questionable the week leading up to the game. The 2008 rushing champion, who suffered torn anterior and medial collateral ligaments last Christmas Eve, carried 17 times and looked as explosive as ever. He said he’s about “95 percent.” The other Week 1 hero was rookie Blair Walsh. The sixth-round draft pick booted four field goals, including a 55-yarder at the end of regulation and a go-ahead 38-yarder in overtime. Meanwhile, second-year quarterback Christian Ponder was efficient (20 of 27 for 270 yards) and Percy Harvin (192 all-purpose yards) was his usual dynamic self. DE Jared Allen, who led the league with 22 sacks last season, didn’t record a stat in the opener, but could wreak havoc against an offensive line in flux.
ABOUT THE COLTS (0-1): Luck was impressive in the preseason, but he quickly found out that exhibition games mean very little. Despite his struggles, Luck showed a good rapport with stalwart Reggie Wayne, who caught nine passes for 135 yards. He’ll also have another option as first-year coach Chuck Pagano announced that wideout Austin Collie (concussion) has been cleared to play. Collie has been out since the second preseason game after suffering his third documented concussion in two seasons. The Colts’ new 3-4 hybrid defense was gashed for 114 yards on the ground last week and it could get worse with DE Dwight Freeney unlikely to play. Freeney is listed as doubtful due to a sprained ankle he suffered in the first quarter last week.
1. Colts TE Coby Fleener, Luck’s teammate at Stanford, led all rookies in catches (six) and was second in receiving yards (82) last week.
2. Harvin has averaged 103.4 receiving yards and has three touchdowns in his last three games against the AFC.
3. Wayne (11,843) needs 62 yards to pass Hall of Famer Michael Irvin for 20th on the all-time receiving list.