Vikings hand Luck first NFL victory
Vinatieri kicks long FG to win it for Indy
INDIANAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings owned the fourth quarter, but Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri had the last word.
Vinatieri kicked a 53-yard field goal with eight seconds left to give the Colts a 23-20 win over the Vikings on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. It was the first win for Colts coach Chuck Pagano and rookie quarterback Andrew Luck.
The Colts’ winning drive came after Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder had led Minnesota to two touchdowns in the last 10 minutes of the game to tie it 20-20 after the Colts had led most of the way.
Luck hit passes to wide receivers Donnie Avery and Reggie Wayne in the final 30 seconds to set up Vinatieri’s field goal. Luck finished with 20 of 31 passing for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Avery caught nine passes for 111 yards and Wayne six for 71.
Ponder was 26 of 34 for 226 yards and two scores. Percy Harvin caught 12 passes for 104 yards. Adrian Peterson rushed 16 times for 60 yards.
Ponder threw touchdown passes to Stephen Burton (off a twice-tipped ball) with 5:07 left and Kyle Rudolph with 31 seconds left to tie the game 20-20.
Luck’s most impressive drive, prior to helping set up the game-winner, came after the Colts defense stuffed the Vikings and forced a punt late in the first half.
Luck drove the Colts 64 yards in 64 seconds, hitting Reggie Wayne on a 30-yard touchdown pass for a 17-6 lead. As he did in most of the Colts’ scoring drives, Luck sensed pressure and avoided it on the pass to Wayne as well as a scramble and run that preceded it.
The Colts pushed their lead to 20-6 on a 14-play, nearly 8-minute drive that ended with a 45-yard Vinatieri field goal to open the third quarter.
Minnesota assured the game of a tense finish, however, when Ponder, liberally using wide receiver Harvin, directed a drive to make it a one-score game with 5:07 left.
The Vikings’ touchdown to cut the lead to 20-13 came when Ponder’s seven-yard pass was tipped by Colts defensive end Cory Redding, then batted by Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph before being caught by wide receiver Burton.
The Colts offense stalled much of the second half after center Samson Satele went down with a knee injury and a makeshift offensive line struggled to contain the Vikings’ pass rush. The Colts punted on four possessions before the final drive.
Notes: Colts wide receiver Austin Collie was inactive. He practiced earlier in the week, but medical team held him out. He has not played since concussion in preseason. …Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney (ankle) was also inactive. …Colts tight end Dwayne Allen’s touchdown reception in the first quarter was also his first NFL reception.