Hey, everybody on Laurence Owen for Colds Law.
And today I've got a special guest with me.
Um, I've got Adam arm wrecked.
Correct? Nailed it. Yes.
Well, I I kind of had the look you up on Twitter and do some posting and and copy pasting stuff, so I kind of got your name down.
Um, he's another guy over here on SportsCastr that covers the nets, Covers the Giants.
He's joined us, uh, for NFL news.
Hey, was just with me this morning on SportsCastr covering the Thursday night game last night last night.
Great knowledgeable guy.
He's joining me toe.
Go over the Minnesota and the Indianapolis Colts game.
Hey, welcome at him.
Man, it was a pleasure this morning breaking down Thursday night.
Now I try to put on as people don't know I'm a Giants guy, and that's where I do my coverage on the podcast on SportsCastr as well.
But now I put on the Vikings hat.
I'm gonna create enemies from the fan base as I try to maybe poke holes.
Indianapolis plans toe win on Sunday against the against the Vikings.
It's gonna be a good one.
Yeah, I think so too.
Just give me one moment, because I am sharing this to Twitter, and there she goes.
All right, I can close Twitter out now.
So, um, I'm glad that you did a little research.
I did a little research before we got on the stream because I was not super high on the Vikings going into the season because of the loss of both their starting cornerbacks from last year.
And from from the games that you wash, do you feel as though their replacements are gonna are good replacements? Or do you think that's something that the Colts wide receiving corps of T y Hilton Paris Campbell Michael Pittman could possibly take advantage of in this game? Yeah.
I mean, listen, you go back and you look even just a week One right small sample size but taking on the Packers.
And by the way, coming into year where people are thinking, or at least suggesting that Aaron Rodgers is maybe on the back nine of it, he goes ahead and makes a statement there.
It's interesting because while the Colts don't have the Davante Adams on the roster, you got a lot of quality receivers.
And when you go back and look at Roger Stat Line, he spread that thing around a lot.
Use Davante Adams in the red zone on a short, little out route past there, but I think if you can spread this around, if Philip Rivers could be smart about that and basically Plato what the defense is giving you, you should see a lot of movement here.
I don't think the Vikings quite know what they are yet defensively with some new pieces and then even on the other side of the ball to right.
You lose a big key receiver on the outside.
You want to play through cooks you still have feeling.
But there's there's there's question marks on both sides here for the Vikings, so early in the year it's it's gonna be a wait and see for them.
I think we're when we say that.
A lot of a lot of teams in the NFL, I think right now after one week with no pre season but Vikings fall into that category into your point.
I'm not as high on them coming in for a number of specific reasons that I'm sure we'll get into as we flex through here.
Brandon Ace, uh, said that he really believes that Philip Rivers is ableto will be able to do well what he's going up against rookie corners in that secondary.
Uh, let's just hope that he's not throwing it to the rookie corners like he did last Sunday.
So I kind of get that.
I understand well, and some of things you try to get from that first game, too.
If you're the cult right on the offensive side, you try to go back and look at that Packers game and one, you're gonna take the easy things.
Like where? Where did Rogers have success? Let's try to duplicate it.
But also, what are the tendencies that we see from some of these young players for the Vikings? And how do we expose that? Right.
That's you know, when you have young players on either side, when you're going against them, you don't know yet entirely what they are at the NFL level.
So every bit of tape you get on some of these guys is going to be the key.
And then, for a guy like Phelan, safer, the Vikings or for you guys.
Now you know we're gonna be without when you get into it with without a key piece of the tight end position.
But when you think about T y Hilton, right? Veteran guy didn't have ah, big week, Week one, But he should be putting all of his skills to use against the suspect secondary.
Uh, so the colts, it's not.
It's not a secret that with that offensive line and the running backs that they have, even with loss of Marlon Mack, they still have no Heem Heinz.
They have still have Jordan Wilkins.
They still have, uh, Jonathan Taylor.
They want to run that football now with the Vikings.
They've got possibly one of the best linebacking course in football, with Eric Wilson, Eric Kendricks and Anthony Bar sitting back there.
And we can't forget, um, Yannick and gog way as we were talking earlier before the stream came over as a pass rusher from the Jags, who knows, uh, Brandon Smith real well out there on that right tackle, do you think Who do you think actually favors in this matchup between the run game and that and that Vikings front seven specifically in the run game.
You know, you have a quality offensive line for the Colts, and that's one of the big selling points by Rivers.
Wanted to come there, right? Feel like you got the stability up in front of them.
The difference here again.
I don't wanna overdraw the comparisons to the previous week, but, uh, you know, I don't tag either one of your running backs this week as a Jones, right? I don't think you know they haven't.
They haven't proven that yet.
For you, They're very complimentary, at least.
And then you wonder about Taylor, right? And he looks like he's gonna get to start this week.
And that could be somewhat ceremonial is a Sfar is how the carriage get broken down.
You mentioned the right tackle.
I'll go to the paper on this one in.
Got away, going up against Smith in previous meetings, tackle one tackle for a loss, two sacks, five Q B hits and two forced fumbles in those meetings.
So, listen, does that mean that that's what he's gonna get here? Maybe not, But I could make the case as talented as some of those Jaguars defensive units were.
He's got better linebackers behind him there in Minnesota now.
So if he starts to occupy on the right side and draw double teams now, you get into that linebacker corps.
They start to find some gaps, and it's gonna be up to the Colts to scheme their way early to some easy run looks.
Couple get a couple of chunk yards, start to draw them in and then think about attacking the weakness, which is the secondary, the Vikings.
But it's all going to start up front there, and it's hard to push one way or the other, because I went back and looked at the stats from last week.
It's not like the running attack for for your Colts was, you know, blowing the doors off a lot of work through the air for for Philip Rivers, and that's great.
But I always fall back on.
You need to have running success because at some point in the game, you want to be able to have a long drive that drains the clock or to be able to punch in a couple of ones.
If you get down near the goal line, that can be especially with if Rivers has had a couple of hiccups there.
A couple interceptions, right? You might wanna have the option to be able to pound that ball, at least for a couple Siris in this one.
And, uh, that brings us to the point with run Game has a lot to do with the tight ends and for the injury report.
We have an issue with that.
Jack Doyle is out in this game completely, and he is well known for having a good run blocking skills that's gonna put Mohali Cox upfront and Mohali Cox not really well known in the NFL.
I could give you a little bit.
I gave you a little bit beforehand.
He is a really good run blocker.
He's a really big, strong ex basketball player that that has came in, learned how to block first and has shown the ability to make really good plays in the passing game.
He's had a one handed catch in the end zone one year.
Um, he's tough to bring down once once he has the football in his hands.
But who's the better guy? Who is the Vikings most likely gonna use to cover tight ends like sadly.
All right, we got Mohali Cox, and then we got no, uh, I can't pronounce his last name.
T O G I A I from Philadelphia.
Those are only two tight ends in this game, and the Colts love using two when three tight end sets.
Who's gonna be that? Who's gonna be? That guy is gonna be a linebacker.
Do you think it will be a safety for the Vikings That will probably be covering them if if he ends up going out for a route? Yeah, if you think that maybe he's he's unknown, relatively speaking.
And at the very least, if you're the Vikings, you look across you say, Hey, no, Doyle, Okay, this is a better matchup for us going up against and run protection, trying, trying to stymie that.
It also makes it a little bit easier for us in our secondary in terms of where we want to put our attention.
So while your instinct would be to say naturally, you wanna put one of your linebackers to pick him up coming out of there, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets passed off a lot.
Right? That that little check on him is, he's coming off the line.
Let us safety have to come down to deal with him.
So if you're the Colts and you wanna go silver lining here, you can think that when you're worried about Hilton, when you're worried about Taylor coming out of the backfield.
When when you're thinking about all these other weapons, you could find Mohali Cox with an opportunity to actually catch some some early balls and help Philip Rivers get into a rhythm.
So if there's a natural, athletic skill set there and there's no point in, you know, faking it, I don't know anything about what he's going to be.
But if he has a natural, athletic skill set and he can be a least a reasonable contributor in that in that passport in the run blocking Excuse me like you said, if he has that skill set is the start.
Now that means you can be on the field, and that's step one.
That's going to be his number one job.
The secondary thing is going to be if we need a safety valve.
Can you convert a couple of these? Maybe third mediums may be surprised the Vikings and then you start to force those linebackers to adjust.
How much attention do we have to provide for him? And how does that then impact the secondary and how they use their safeties and maybe shading over for help on some of those receivers? Alright? Reese asked the question, Um, how how big is it that the Vikings lost Michael Pierce? Ever seen Griffin and Hunter? And looks like they None of those guys will be playing against the Colts this week.
What, what kind of impact will that have? Yeah, I mean, listen, everything.
Griffin is obviously enormous for them there.
There's a reason why this defense looks a little bit in shambles right now, right? We mentioned fresh pieces in the secondary.
That's one thing, but upfront you need that. Everything.
Griffin becomes a focal point.
That's what helps to free up in GAC way.
That's what allows Bar to accelerate these air guys.
They're talented in their own right.
But when you talk about having 2nd and 3rd pieces that draw attention and sometimes double team attention, that's what makes everything easier.
So when you mentioned earlier about the running attack for the Colts and what they're gonna be able to accomplish this means that across a strong offensive line for the Colts, they can say, Maybe we start out one on one battles and let's see how the how the Vikings defense reacts to us.
If you don't have Griffin on the field, that's listen.
I can easily sway.
We talked about where the line sat on this game.
It's basically a pick him here.
If you bring back in a couple of these pieces to the Vikings defense, you probably maybe even see this skew a little bit Mawr in the direction of the Vikings because you're still wondering about what? What is the total feel of this Colts offense? That's a good question.
Um, they were fairly fairly balanced.
It was 2 to 1, passed a run against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but that was I think it really went that way after Mac got hurt.
Um, I want to take a moment here and thank Boston Bell behind the ball sports and Merle Ball fan for joining on SportsCastr and everybody watching right now.
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I Reese, I'll ask that question when we get to the defense.
All right, So how well do the Vikings do you believe? Do they do they do a good job in disguising coverages? Because, I mean, Philip Rivers is an aged vet, right? He's been here a long time.
He's seen just about everything.
Do you think they can get to him? And if they can't get to them, do you think they'll be able to disguise to create confusion? Yeah, you know, this.
This makes me think about again.
I hope this I'm not trying to create a knock on the Colts.
Right? But Philip Rivers, at this stage of his career, isn't on the same level as an Aaron Rodgers.
Now, one of the things you can look at their those say Aaron Rodgers is a terribly mobile guy, and neither is Philip Rivers.
So living inside the pocket is okay.
You saw him have success against the Vikings last week.
You also, though, did see in that game.
You know, Aaron Rodgers was utilizing a lot of quick passes.
Lot of three step drop, Get it out of your hands.
And they have a number of playmakers there so that the timing is what becomes really interesting.
I think from the Colts perspective, whatever Philip Rivers looking to do, that's first.
Look, you got to go to your second.
But within those first two, you wanna be pulling the trigger.
Because even if we say as they did put up a lot of points against that Vikings defense, they were still getting there.
They were still sniffing in the area of having pressure on Aaron Rodgers.
So this really comes down to timing.
To me, it comes down to the familiarity.
And if he can rely on the receivers to come out of those routes Crisp.
I think you're going to be okay in that from from a disguising the defense standpoint, I will.
I'll go pretty high level on this.
I don't know what the Vikings air going toe look to do or how good they are, disguising those looks and it's hard to look at what Aaron Rodgers does against them versus maybe getting, ah, more middle of the pack quarterback in that first week sample, we'll say again, I don't wanna beat the drum when you have young players.
When you have new players in a defensive system, you're going to shrink the game plan a little bit.
You're going to try toe, mitigate, overexposing them.
So you're probably gonna go more basic looks and try to see if you could hold off and have success in that regard.
But that's the big thing I took away when I watch those clips and look back.
That replay from the Packers game was even though he hit a couple of big balls out to Lazard out toe Davante Adams.
He was getting that thing out of his hands quickly to his receivers, letting them turn up field and make plays after the catch.
And I think that that could be another nice element for Philip Rivers and the Colts offense.
So look at let's be a little bit up tempo, even if not down to down.
But just once you snap that ball, find your route, hit the target and let them work for you.
So do you think, Uh, kind of a no huddle might actually being ah, colt favor in this situation? Yeah.
Listen for sure, you know, I mean, this is true about the NFL in general, by the way.
Right up tempo offense is always make it more difficult on any defense.
You don't get the chance to get those subs in.
You don't get to get your sub packages on their swap out based on down and distance.
So a lot of times, maybe where the Colts can think about it is if we're sitting there in a third and short, and we have a nice personnel package that we like and we can maybe pound that ball for the first down, get right back up on that line of scrimmage and start to think about in a too wide receiver set.
How do I get a nice go round for T y Hilton? How doe I look to get Campbell who you were speaking highly of to me, and we got together in the morning, right? How do I get a player like that involved and hopefully maybe catch the Vikings trying to sneak their and stack the box against what you would feel like is the better of the two matchups for the Vikings defense.
They're looking Thio.
Shut down this run completely and take those risks in the secondary where they have the least amount of confidence on their side of the ball.
So you can maybe catch them a couple of times there and put them in bad matchups.
From that standpoint, Thea other thing is now for the Colts, though they have some of their own injury concerns even deeper there.
Right? Michael Pittman, Junior.
Not gonna be in this one.
Um, I'm gonna forget the one other receiver that you got there is gonna be out for you as well.
Well, Michael Pittman's questionable.
Give me a okay, Okay, Let me let me check this out here.
Let's go back and bring that back up.
Uh, we got Zach Paschal, who is all That's the other one.
So Paschal, which you listen Is he Is he Is he the first name on the receiving court? No, but just, you know, you have a couple less weapons there.
And that again, this is why I think this is what if I'm Philip Rivers.
This is when I look out there, especially without Doyle, who's a nice safety valve.
This is what I look to t y Hilton, and I say I may be able to find Campbell on some opportunities.
But T Y Hilton, this is your opportunity to really make a statement in this season against the suspect secondary.
You should have a field day.
You're not the same build.
You're not the same skill set of the Davante Adams.
But you are a true number one receiver in the league.
You should be going out there improving it this week.
Um, so uh huh Should they do you? You.
So it sounds like to me, you're Maurin favor oven uptempo, short, quick passing game rather than lean on the ground game E.
I hate to say it because the idea of reverse engineering and offensive approach right where you say sometimes you always say the best way to get the running game going to pound it early.
But the best way to create space in the running game can also be some of those quick passes that start toe step back that linebacking corps a little bit the interesting thing for me, though, is that they do.
You have a really good offensive line there, so I don't think it's not like you can't choose to go the route of Let's start through the run game.
But getting river like to use what you did best last week.
Right high volume of past for Philip Rivers had a lot of success.
Couple of mistakes.
Still threw for over 350 yards.
Still had nearly 80% completion percentage.
So that worked for you.
I I don't know what I take away from losing Week one to the Jaguars again.
New quarterback, new system, new team, all those things right? But I have to look at it and say You have that much success in that area of the game.
The run defense is your biggest concern for the Vikings.
Let's start with what we think is going to get us out to a lead.
Let's start with the thing that make sure we get into our rhythm at our tempo and then you can start to look to it.
And by the way, Taylor is going to be, you know, Taylor and Mac in my mind.
You can confirm or deny this.
These are guys that can do both things for you.
They can run, they can run out of the backfield.
They could stay between the tackles.
They can also be receiving threats for you at times.
So you have an opportunity to get those guys involved early as well.
Start to spread out the defense and then look for those nice little burst up the middle and get behind the quality offensive line.
That's, you know, whatever it takes to get that first touchdown.
Do do the best 10 scripted plays that you love that you think work against the Vikings and then in that second quarter, heading towards the break.
Or in that third quarter coming out of halftime if you get the ball first.
Now look for that nice, sustained drive using a blend of pass and run and really make the Vikings just like in the Packers game.
Go back and look at this one right ton of points in the fourth quarter for the Vikings.
They were out of this thing.
They kept saying, You're you're fighting back within eight.
They were out of this thing, throwing the ball a lot late.
So that mitigated Cook, who you're concerned about out of the backfield for them.
So that's the way that I think you set yourself up for success early in this game.
If you're the Colts briefs asking me if I think that Campbell is already turning into that number one option and will we have 100 yard game this game with a favorable matchup? It's quite possible I don't think that they have a corner that can actually cover him, because if Pittman is on the field, that means you're gonna.
The Vikings will have their number one and number two corners blocked up on the outside, and they're not gonna have a top dog corner covering Paris Campbell making all those cuts over the middle.
He had a very close to getting a 100 yard game last week.
This week, there's there's a good possibility, so we'll see.
Yeah, he's definitely turning into that number one option, though.
Um, we're gonna flip it over and talk about the Vikings offense and the Colts defense.
Xavier Rhodes is on the Indianapolis Colts right now.
What kind of an impact does that make when you have a number one corner from the team.
That was that you're playing against this.
This is their information.
Do you think that they share or do you really kind of think they just throw away a lot of that stuff because, well, the Vikings No, he's on there, too.
So they probably are gonna be changing things up so that, you know, he don't know.
Yeah, I Sometimes I get swept up in this stuff when a player changes teams and you go, Oh, what the Patriots are famous for doing this, right? Picking up guys that get cut from the Jets or the dolphins in the division gets, um, insights.
And then they get released a week later in the film room.
Maybe that helps a little bit communicating to other guys, but you know the say they know him as well as he knows them.
Um, And I I tend to think if you're the colts and your roads you're not worried about, you know, what can you glean from us here? You're gonna try to put him out there, probably and and tell them to take feeling and and get after that match up, and that's gonna be pretty crucial for the defense side of the ball.
If you can avoid needing over the top help more often than not in that matchup.
Now you create more bounds for yourself.
So, listen, this is a get back game for for roads, if you wanna look at it that way, Vikings didn't have a need for him.
And he found, you know, he finds a new home there for the Colts, and this is a chance for him to prove it.
And I think he'll be tested those weapons here.
Still for for the for the Vikings.
And then it really turns into Kirk Cousins.
And what do you think? Is he capable of exposing a matchup like that? Because I have my own thoughts about really where he is in the hierarchy of Cubes in this league as well.
Where do you rank their offensive line in pass protection and run blocking for the for the Minnesota Vikings? Well, I didn't love I didn't love what I saw last week.
You know that the packers defense, they were around him, they were around cousins a lot.
Now you go back and take a look at that is this is more later in the game.
A little bit is well when they're getting mawr.
Ah, little bit more past heavy because ins If I got this here, right, Let's see if I get those up there.
You know, he scampered around four rushes for 34 yards.
Now that's both won something to keep an eye on.
He is a least mobile or more mobile quarterback than than just a pure pocket passer at the same time.
That was him kind of running for his life.
There a little bit and a lot of those situations.
I'll flip it back at least to you in one regard.
What are the expectations for the Colts defensively in terms of getting after Kirk Cousins? And do you think that one, If you could bring that pressure, you could get home on it? And if you're not getting home on it, do you trust the linebacking corps? Do you trust those safeties in support? If a couple of these key scrambles maybe pop up for them earlier in the game, then later where cousins can, you can take a second and long or a third, you know, middle and pick up that easy first down that end up moving the chains.
Okay, so I think the defensive line itself, the biggest issue I have with with Matty Bird flu is he loves to just send the front four, and that's it.
He does not like the blitz he has.
He didn't blitz very much at all last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
He loves having the speed at linebacker and safety Thio kind of because, you know, they sit in like this zone coverage and they watched the quarterback.
I don't ever expect cousins to be able to take off and and pick up chunk yards at all, because this is a defense that was built to stop the Shawn Watson, right? That's that's what this defense was built for.
Speed, uh, to be able to get to those really, really good scrambling quarterbacks.
Um, it's more of I'm Mawr afraid of.
If the Colts can't get the pressure with their front four, his cousin is gonna be able to just pick apart that zone defense.
That's what I'm afraid of, what Zoe's gonna say, because from the way you're describing it, then I then I look at and I go.
Okay, So if he likes to just go front four and you want to trust the scheme behind them and trust the speed of your linebackers, then what you're saying is you know we're going to challenge you, Kirk cousins with time to make those plays right.
And you and I just talked about a rookie and Joe Burrow and missing some of those deep passes, not necessarily having Great Depot accuracy.
You know, I've seen enough of cousins over the years to say he's not one of the elite deep ball throwers.
He's not one of the most pure, accurate guys Now.
I think he's been able to massage numbers sometimes, depending on what the matchups are.
Uh, I wouldn't be nearly as fearful of that as if you're facing one of the top five or six quarterbacks in the league.
So, you know, do you feel like last week that Gardner Minshew was able to basically exposed that that that plan of attack there of just sending your front door? And now you're sitting in his? I mean, I know he had a nice game that the the yardage wasn't huge, but the touchdowns were so if I'm looking apples that Apple's there, I'd say, Boy, Kirk, cousins at least can probably duplicate what we saw from Minshew.
So you the risk reward is do you send some of those speed linebackers to bring that extra pressure and get it out of the hands quicker? I'm a coin flip of saying, I don't think her cousins is the greatest quarterback in the world and is really gonna burn you, but because I don't think he's the greatest, a little bit extra pressure, making him throw that ball sooner than he would like can actually be a benefit to your second areas.
Well, I'm right with you on that last part.
I am personally now.
Last year, when he realized his front four wasn't getting it, he would send blitzes from just about everywhere.
Whether it be a linebacker blitz, a safety blitz, a nickel corner blitz, some something in there.
I would like to see that pressure sent ah, lot more often.
Um, especially since I mean meant you only missed one past that entire game, right? I mean, he was like, 95% completion percentage because there was no pressure on him.
I think we got three sacks, three or four sacks.
I think we had four sacks that game, but there was a ton of pressure.
Um, I like the idea of just getting pressure on a guy playing tight man to man and making him make a decision now, right? That's what I That's what I'm a fan of now.
Obviously, you can't do that every time because that's that's where you're gonna end up with a lot of screens and stuff like that.
That's just gonna blow huge chunks behind you because you're sending so much pressure.
But, um, I think a good mix would be smart by by the Colts defensive coordinator Matt Ever flu sickness.
See? See how it looks on the first drive.
Um, don't don't send like bliss is a whole lot among on the first drive.
See how it affects the game and then Sprinkle it in as needed is what the way I feel.
And don't ever send the same bullets twice.
I did notice that cousins on a down where he is using play action with Cook.
He does not see that nickel corner blitz ever.
Okay, he does not see it coming.
He's trying to hand that football off.
He's not looking off to the side.
He's looking at the running back and the football.
Is that where they grab that? That safety there in that last game there was that I don't know if that was out of the nickel, that they sent that blitz, but there was a deep deep in their own zone for the Vikings.
Packers brought the blitz off the edge.
E I want to say it's the nickel.
Could have been coming in from the safety position, but they brought it on him and it was just, you know, untouched.
Read the quarterback and in an easy safety, if there's ever such a thing.
Yeah, I I don't remember if that was that SAT came off the safety.
I do remember seeing the or the Nikolai.
I've seen a nickel blitz earlier, and he didn't even see him.
I mean, he did not see him at all until he was already in his face.
So, um, we do have a nickel corner that's very, very underrated.
The NFL on anymore.
One of the in my opinion, one of the best nickel corners in football, Probably our best cornerback anyplace nickel slot, which is weird.
I'm not used to that.
He doesn't play the outside.
I think he's the second highest paid nickel corner in the NFL right now.
Um, but we'll send him in on on nickel blitzes a lot.
He's very quick, very athletic.
So I'd like to see him.
And I wouldn't mind seeing, uh, either Leonard or Fabio creaky, the to outer linebackers.
Being salmon will, uh, come in occasionally as well on blitzes, because I think I think timing blitzes in this game against Kirk Cousins will be the key toe, really having an edge defensively and offensively in this game? Yeah, he's the kind.
I think he's the kind of quarterback that you can quote unquote rattle right.
You can catch him unprepared.
You can force the issue against him, and by percentage, more often than not, he's not gonna burn you for the risk, right? Eso you? Maybe you take that that opportunity to do so.
You talk about maybe bringing some of this pressure on him, though one of the players this may feel like the footnote for this Vikings team.
They still have Rudolph there at the tight end position, and he's a classic tight end right now.
He can come up short just in terms of targets.
And how effective is he really in the passing game? He has had big games for them over the years, Of course.
But if I look at that, he's a solid blockers.
Well, so now you're talking about If you start to see pressure coming early from the Colts defense, he can get held in their help to assist on some of that blocking and also becomes that bleed out threat for them in the passing game.
The other guy, Uh, this is, like again You wanna get deep on this stuff you're gonna be worried about feeling right? Maybe you're gonna be worried about obviously cooks out of the backfield.
Maybe you're gonna even think about Is Kyle Rudolph potentially going to be a threat for us? Remember they drafted Justin Jefferson only picked up a couple receptions in that first game.
He's a rookie, but that's where I think you start to get into that 2nd and 3rd maybe fourth level matchup.
Where if Kirk cousins is able to get that ball out quickly.
Something like that.
A rookie that you know has a lot of natural skill set, and it's still getting his feet wet in the NFL.
He could end up being a bit of an impact player, where you start to find even against those the linebacking corps for the Colts.
Right then you're talking about Can you pick this guy up, maybe coming over the middle of field? Make the big plays when you need to? So there's Ah, a bit of a mystery around some of the depth there for the for the receivers this year for the Minnesota Vikings.
But I still agree with your right timed pressure, picking your spots and bringing some of that pressure on Kirk Cousins and seeing if you can handle it and you can do that early in the game, you can.
You can run a risk early, and if you get bit by it, fine.
You can make your adjustments from that.
And as long as you're still fighting in the game, you're keeping it relatively close.
You're you're gonna have to run a risk here at some point, because apples to apples, I'm probably gonna hang my hat on Minnesota.
Being the more explosive offense in this game out of the two doesn't mean that the more consistent and it doesn't mean that they're more likely to make the you know, the big plays when they need them.
But they have the ability to do it.
At least saw that in the fourth quarter, when they got down big against the Packers, they can move that ball.
So there's never gonna come a point in this game from a Colts perspective where you say, Hey, two touchdown lead, let's go ahead and really bunker down here and just ride this thing out there.
Always gonna try to be coming for you.
It's gonna be up to the Colts to try to force that big error interception, safety turnover, something along those lines probably in and around the middle end of that third quarter, where they could make a bit of that that take control of the game kind of statement you mentioned earlier.
You're talking about explosive offense, and you mentioned Kyle Rudolph being one of them, like decent security blanket can that can break out, have a good game, but their second tight end is, is, has the capability of being very scary in the game.
Earth Smith Jr is a very good tied in, and it's just because he's had Kyle Rudolph in front of him is the reason why he hasn't really exploded so far in the NFL.
And a lot of people don't realize who he is.
But having Kyle and Herb Smith sitting there, I would would not be surprised.
Um, if the Colts do start sending blitzes more often, that you'll start seeing them use a too tight end set.
And then that is a situation that I'm or afraid of than just having your classic one tight end, three wide receivers and then cook in the backfield.
I don't like having both those tight ends for the Vikings on the field, same time, because that creates terrible mismatches.
Um, in the receiving game.
Yeah, as long as you have one tight end that you know and let's let's label on his Rudolph here that can help.
Definitely in the blocking game, right when you then introduce just a pure athlete so I'll use the Giants is the example here.
In some ways, you know, I prefer if it was flip flopped.
I have my own issues with Evan Ingram, but if I have Kaden Smith ahead of him, who is an okay blocker, he's still a pass catcher first.
But I'd rather have kind of what I know.
Give me the baseline there to start and then give me a really a real X factor kind of mystery there when I want to go to tight end sets and all of a sudden angry would become this incredibly dangerous weapon that puts pressure on on a linebacking corps.
If he's going to get off that line and get out in the passing game, you're right as well, right for the Vikings.
He's just been kind of hidden there.
And now all of a sudden, if you run a too tight end set again you're talking about is he? What? Is he the 3rd 4th option that you're thinking about in terms of who you want to shut down on a given play? And because he is athletic, get that ball in his hands that that sort of run after catch kind of guy for the Vikings? So the weird thing is to me is that he only had one catch last week, right? Some of the weird stuff when you look back at those stat lines over that Vikings game for Aziz, good as they did in that fourth quarter, put up 24 points.
When you start to walk through, I'll try to get these receiving numbers.
You remember six catches for stealing for 110 yards.
Then you get Thio busy Johnson there with just three for 56 4 for 30 for Madison, out of the backfield, Rudolph with just two for 28.
So you know this ball is getting spread around a bit, But even in putting up 24 points in the fourth quarter, you're still talking about Kirk Cousins going 19 to 25 nice and safe through one pick two touchdowns took the safety and 159 yards like it's a weird stat line to put up 34 points and have a relatively quiet passing performance to couple it with the fact that even though your run game collectively with Cook and with Madison combined for 100 yards there and 1 34 if you throw in Kirk cousins in his legs.
But It wasn't like you were dominating there.
You got behind early, so it takes away one of your best weapons in the running game.
So it's just interesting to see how, in spite of all the way that we're listening here, were saying boy concerns for the Colts.
Look over there.
Then you go to a game where all you need to be doing was passing the ball and they got very locked in on feeling, Which may be that that brings me back around to that Roads matchup, right? That's where it starts, and you'll live with everything else.
That happens if you can.
If you can shut down, let's call it quote unquote.
You could take him off the board for a big chunk of this game.
You'll live with whoever they end up throwing the ball to, and it's okay, toe.
They lose the game, but it's okay to get beat up by a Kyle Rudolph if it means they weren't going to feeling because Rudolph is, it's written.
He's not taking a 60 to the house and burning you, you know, pass the safeties.
You can control that and break them down to shorter chunk gains album.
Cook just got extended for $12.
5 million a year, Uh, massive amounts of money for someone who doesn't even have a full, uh, two seasons worth of games under his belt yet.
Um, but he's a very explosive.
He's good on the run.
He's good through the air.
Uh, do you believe? And in my opinion, I think, even when the Colts are in his own defense, if there is a guy to put a spy on album cooks that guy? Yep, I think 100% you can't risk losing sight of him because that little bleed out of the backfield, maybe on a play action or even on a straight drop back if he just bleeds out and gets over top of that middle of the field there, even with the quickness of the linebacking corps, he could get in and out of there and take that and take that thing to the house.
I mean, he is a really risk factor there, so even if you think you're controlling the run game, they could get him involved.
That's the type of dynamic player you get there to briefly talk about that contract.
You know, injury concerns.
Obviously had some really big ones there early in his career.
I don't know, though.
He is the dual threat kind of guy, a lot of money to invest in a running back for this team.
At this point, you know that division is congested technically is probably a lot more open than it's been in years past.
Unless you wanna based off what you saw from Aaron Rodgers a week one, then you think Maybe not.
So you know, they're in a weird spot there where once you let you know, Digs goes away, heads to Buffalo in the off season, even a guy like feeling has had a couple of little little minor injuries there as well.
You don't know what your plan is with Kirk Cousins, long term.
So I think bringing him back and cook is saying no matter what, we got a guy back there that could be really dynamic for us.
So it's a lot of money, but I guess I'm okay with it from Minnesota side of it.
Yeah, and then in the game, man, there's nobody else I might say He's your number one threat right? I mean, as good a stealing isn't there in receiving game.
I think the first thing that you think about is not just a runner, though.
He can impact the game everywhere.
And so do you have a linebacker in your mind that you say Hey or you bring? You wanna bring a safety out of that box to spy on him more often than not and risk the over the top if they look to go to feeling? Or do you just pick out one of your linebackers and say, Listen, this is it.
Whatever happens, I don't want to see this guy 15 yards upfield coming out of the backfield, taking a dump off pass from Kirk Cousins.
I think we have both.
I think we have a linebacker that can do it.
Obviously, I think Darius Leonard is one of those linebackers, one of those rare linebackers you could drop on just about anybody, and I mean, he's covered wide receivers, so if he can cover wide receivers, he can cover running backs, even Dalvin cook style running backs.
But I honestly, I think the best bet the courts have ah, second year safety on their team right now.
And I think that if we just use carry Willis, bring him up, make him the spy against Cook and keep Malik Hooker as the single over the top safety to protect against that deep bomb from from Adam feeling.
I think that is their best option.
Yeah, it makes sense again.
It makes sense to me to to risk a big plate of feeling somewhere.
Make cousins prove it first will adjust second, because you're never gonna be surprised if Cook takes that ball from however he gets it into his hands.
You're on Lee going to sit there and say, But why won't you keeping an eye on that, right? So if that methodology can work, bringing down that second your safety to spy, all the better for it.
And it's the situations in this game again.
You go back and see how they move the ball once they were behind.
So to tie it in to both sides of this, what the Colts are doing offensively is also going to dictate what they have to think about doing defensively.
You get out to that early lead you can start to take some of those chances send that pressure on companies, make them earn it for you.
If you're in a tight ballgame, then I think you get into the Let's spy on Let's go by on Cook.
Let's try to control him.
Let's keep forcing cousins to make those plays and trust the back end of our of our defense.
If I also think, too, By the way, I know coming into the season that the culture a fairly high rated defense around the league, whatever it is that happened there Week one against the Jaguars, I'm still on the side of this is one of the better defense is in the league, and I think that even with the weapons were talking about with Minnesota, they should be able to match up here.
There's nothing here that scares me to the point where I say the Colts are gonna be trailing here by multiple scores and then you're putting a lot of pressure on Philip Rivers to move this ball consistently and somewhat quickly, potentially in the second half.
Now you and I, we talked about that first, that first game that first week one in the NFL that that's one of those weeks that you could pretty much just kind of take what you saw with a grain of salt because, you know, uh, there was so little preparation for the week and the teams were only practicing for a month.
So defense is obviously still haven't gotten everything down.
They didn't have life tackling all the way up until that game because of no preseason, right? Um, not a lot.
Not a lot toe work with right leading up to week one.
So I think week to week three, like we were talking about, will be a mawr of ah ah, bar center for this For teams.
Um, And to be fair, I was telling everybody before the game that Jacksonville's Jacksonville's got a passing attack.
Speak very, very sneaky.
Good channel and and shark are very good.
You know, Keelan cold.
They've got receivers, you know, and and that that that undrafted free agent running back just look phenomenal.
Really coming out of the backfield.
They're funny, funny team, but it's funny the perception of them and you get why, right? A lot of pieces strip away from there, but you go back to last year and I didn't even come into this season.
Everyone talks about well, the Jaguars plan is to Tank and let's go ahead and get ourselves that franchise Cube And I kind of said at the time going back to last season was talking about it with Andy on the podcast and saying Listen, they may be fine with if that's the way the season goes, so be it right and we'll be excited Toe have that pick in the draft.
But I was like, Why wouldn't you be more confident in Menchu? You actually had a quietly solid season last year like there's something weird.
Maybe it's because he, you know, he's a little bit of odd, odd, odd character.
He has some fun there on social media over the off season, but he's proving it.
And I think that they went with obviously a youth movement in a lot of positions, a lot of areas and that makes them exciting and having the lack of preseason means that you could get caught off guard by some of those matchups and not realize how deep they are wide receiver and not realize that yeah, maybe Jordan Menchu is just a pretty darn good quarterback that you might rather have than a lot of mawr.
You know, name cachet, guys around the league.
So but, you know, midway point of the season, you may look back as a colts fan and go Oh, you know what we thought at the time you hate to lose that game to the Jaguars, But you may find that there, there, there, you know, borderline ish 500 team around the midway point of this season.
And that just means that it validates it, right in a weird offseason like it was, It's gonna take a handful of weeks before the good and the bad shake out here.
And you get really defined ideas about who the quality teams are and who are teams that were maybe benefiting from the lack of time around this type of season.
I think again the Colts are one of those ones.
The further you get into the season, the better they're going toe. Look.
All right, so we've come to that part, I believe where we're gonna make some picks.
All right, So who do you got? What, What What kind of score you looking at for Sunday.
Listen, the line on this one is minus three from the Colts.
So you guys are favored in it, which is nice.
Now you are at home, so that means it's a borderline pick him, which I think is where it should be.
Then you're talking about the over under at 48 a half right now.
So anticipating scoring, I don't think it's the kind of thing we were expecting.
A blowout on one side of the other of this again, everything that we talked about it saying, Even quality players on both sides of the ball for both teams, some holes here and there.
So, um, listen, Philip River showed you a couple of things.
Has the accuracy, has the veteran experience to understand how how toe work against the defense when he needs thio.
Key factors for me or the running game for the Colts can, you know, can tailor maybe be a bit of a surprise here in just his second week and be a bit more of a factor in both phases, passing and running.
And then defensively, there's roads match up well against DeLand.
Does he create an advantage for that defense to say, Let's pin our ears back a little bit and maybe force your coordinators say, You know what? It's not my style, but I'm gonna send a little bit of pressure here and try to get Kirk cousins moving.
I think that I think the Colts come out here and win this one.
I think they put the Vikings in a whole, hear a tone to to start off the season.
I think the Colts get right back into the mix of things there.
So, um, you know, at 40.
5 over, I feel I feel good about I feel good about sending out a because that now what was the final score? That last week's game just before I do it.
What do you guys finished with? 2027? I think so.
I mean, listen, when you when you look at the amount of yardage that Rivers that would put up, I think it's just about punching it in, you know, wipe away a couple of interceptions, be a little bit smarter with the football.
I think you know one was his fault.
One wasn't, you know, So be a little bit smarter.
Maybe get T y Hilton going a little bit earlier.
I'm more than comfortable with what I saw from this Minnesota Vikings defense against the Packers.
I'll go out there and give you a 27 27 21.
I think that's a nice place to live.
It's right around there that's not slightly taking the under in it.
But I think that the court should feel comfortable having control of this game. And again.
Maybe it comes down to the back end of this year.
Where can you hold off the Vikings? And I'm probably and I'm probably trending a little low here.
This should be maybe a little bit closer to 31 24 31 27.
But I got my money on the Colts in this one.
They get back on track one and one here after two games.
So my cat says Hi.
Hey, young girl on the picks. Come on.
Yeah, So you are correct.
In three yardage and the scoring, they got into the red zone.
They actually got inside the 10 yard line twice and came away with nothing.
11 time was they went forward on fourth down and didn't get it.
And another time was a missed field goal by the rookie undrafted free agent Rodrigo Blankenship.
I don't think that's gonna happen in this this Sunday's game.
I think they're still gonna have good offense.
I think their running game may actually be a little bit better, because now the offensive line will know how to block for Jonathan Taylor.
They were blocking for Marlon Mack, and running backs were different on how they like their their blocks set up in front of him and another great example of black in the preseason.
You need some game reps to understand where they wanna go and for him to learn where they want to move to write. Exactly.
See, Mac Mac was getting, like, six yards of carry, whereas Taylor was getting like three, you know, because they didn't understand how Taylor once it blocked out.
Taylor didn't understand.
You know, their little intricacies in that situation as well.
I think the running game ends up doing a lot better.
I hope to see a lot of, uh, two back formations.
I'd love to see Taylor and Hind in the backfield at the same time, especially on like third, medium, third and short.
I think that would.
That would scare a lot of defense's.
Because if you got Heinz going one way and you got Taylor going the other and Rivers is like well, with which weighs the linebackers leaning towards, I'll just throw the other direction real quick here, by the way, 41 to 19 Time of possession Packers over the Vikings last week.
Have a better defense.
You should be able to avoid some of those late let ups that the Packers had control this game.
That's how you dictate, you know, control this game.
Get yourself out there and make them chase.
I mean that that cannot be overlooked in spite of the screen.
Look in the box score.
You go. Wow, A lot of points for the Vikings.
You did a lot of that late when you needed it.
Prior to that fourth quarter, you were being held in check.
You were having a lot of three announced.
A lot of you know, had turned a couple of turnovers there, so don't get tricked by it.
The Colts should be should be a little bit more confident, even than what my prediction says.
Yeah, I got I got the Colts went in, I think I think they win 31 24 I think.
Yeah, that's that's about where I've got them.
Um, I think, uh, I don't think the Vikings will ever be out of the game.
I don't think there's gonna be a point in the game where you're like, Well, the colts, including run away with this.
I think the Vikings offense is definitely effective.
And they have pieces on that defense.
That front seven has has good linebackers.
They got a pass rusher.
Um, they got some safeties, the corners is what I'm a little worried about on them.
I think the Colts can actually really take advantage of the corner situation.
I think Philip Rivers, due to his accuracy and experience, will be able to do that.
Um, yeah, I I see the colts winning this, but then again, I said, the colts, who's gonna whoop the snot out of Jacksonville? But, um, yeah, we'll see how that went.
You hang your hat on again.
Hang your hat on that, by the way, by the way to it's, it's worth remembering, right? For whatever the Vikings did.
Some differences there and wide receiver, but they're returning the same quarterback, same system, same head coach, you know, same key players here.
So again, from a cold side of it, this is Week one, learning a new running back, learning your new quarterback, getting familiarity.
So if there's ever an opportunity thio air on the side of what we just needed a couple of reps here to figure it out, I think the Colts could take it at least find you know, some confidence in that and say, This will look like last week minus a couple of those key mistakes that cost us arguably, you know, 10 points, right? Yeah, yeah, I I absolutely I think there was a multiple point swings.
There was that interception, another one pick six that rivers through right? Eso You know, that's a that's a big switch on points.
But either way, I think the cultural ended up doing a lot better.
Um, this week, especially, I think, even coaching, I think they'll call plays a lot a little bit better.
Ebert Flu now understands a little bit more on what his defense is like and what he needs to do to adjust, uh, defensively.
Scheme wise, um, toe better Take advantage of his skill sets that he has on that defense versus the opposing offenses.
But then again, to be fair, the Vikings, they're kind of in the same boat.
It's a coaching league. That's what I always say.
It's a coaching league.
So what are your What is the coaching staff of the coast? Look at and say Okay, little tweak here.
Little adjustment there.
And now we see if if that's the solution in week two.
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