News & Analysis

NFL Week 2 PFF ReFocused: Indianapolis Colts 28, Minnesota Vikings 11

Kirk Cousins couldn’t get out of his own way in the Minnesota Vikings’ 28-11 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on the road in Week 2. The Vikings' veteran signal-caller completed just 11 of 26 passes for 113 yards and three interceptions in the blowout loss. The Vikings drop to 0-2 on the season with the defeat, and the Philip Rivers-led Colts improve to 1-1.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

STORY OF THE GAME

Minnesota’s young defense is a problem, but Cousins’ poor play under center is what really kept the Vikings out of this game. With three turnover-worthy plays on the day, Cousins will likely finish PFF’s review process in the bottom 10 in PFF grade among starting quarterbacks in Week 2.

Cousins averaged just 4.6 yards per attempt and finished the contest with a 15.9 NFL passer rating. And the issue wasn’t tied to protection up front. All three of his interceptions were thrown from a clean pocket, and he worked from a pressured pocket fewer than three times in the game.

Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen created separation consistently, but Cousins struggled to connect him and the rest of the team’s receivers with accurate passes downfield. Minnesota recorded just two drops in the contest. Rookie Justin Jefferson and Thielen led the team in receiving yards with 44 and 31, respectively.

Sep 20, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts safety Khari Willis (37) intercepts the ball in the first half against the Minnesota Vikings at Lucas Oil Stadium. Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Unlike Cousins, Rivers bounced back from an ugly performance in Jacksonville in Week 1. He completed 19 of 25 passes for 214 yards, one touchdown and an interception. And Rivers wasn’t at fault for the interception. Tight end Mo Alie-Cox let the pass bounce off his chest and into the hands of Vikings linebacker Eric Wilson.

Defensively, Colts linebacker Darius Leonard was a clear standout player. He finished the game with zero missed tackles and multiple positively graded plays in coverage.

ROOKIE WATCH

Jefferson led his team in receiving yards (44) but wasn’t all that impressive in the contest. He played 28 offensive snaps, including 21 routes. His longest reception of the day was a 22-yard gain

Vikings rookie cornerback Jeff Gladney did not have a great day, either. He allowed six receptions on eight targets for 76 yards, five first downs and a touchdown on first review. He should finish PFF’s grade reviewing process with a sub-40.0 PFF coverage grade.

Colts wideout Michael Pittman Jr. recorded four receptions for 37 yards and two first downs on his 35 routes run and six targets. His longest reception went for 16 yards, and he failed to come down the ball in his lone contested-catch opportunity.

Jonathan Taylor, the Colts’ rookie running back out of Wisconsin, recorded a whopping 26 carries and two receptions for 110 combined yards in the game, but the workload was more impressive than the efficiency. He only forced two missed tackles and averaged fewer than three yards after contact per carry on the day.

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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