INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck did a pretty good impersonation of Peyton Manning on Sunday.
Not even Manning was able to win in his Colts‘ home debut back in 1998.
The Colts rookie finished 20 of 31 for 224 yards on a solid, not spectacular day. He was more impressive eluding pass rushers and throwing on the run than he was with his arm. Yet time after time, Luck escaped trouble, and he even rolled out of the pocket on the two completions that put Indianapolis in position for the winning kick.
He was helped by a defense that held Minnesota to two field goals in the first 54 minutes.
Minnesota finally tied the score on Kyle Rudolph’s 6-yard touchdown catch with 31 seconds to go.
That proved to be too much time for Luck, who completed a 20-yard pass to Donnie Avery and called timeout. He completed a 20-yard pass to Reggie Wayne, then called another timeout. Then he got the Vikings to jump offside, putting the ball at the Vikings 35, and spiked the ball.
Indy didn’t look anything like the team that got blown out by Chicago last week.
Instead, it started fast, took control just before halftime and kept Minnesota at an arm’s distance for most of the second half.
Minnesota made it 20-13 on a bizarre fourth-down TD pass that was tipped twice before winding up in the hands of Stephen Burton with 5:07 to play. The Vikings then forced a quick Indy punt, and Ponder again drove the Vikings down the field. This time, he found Rudolph for the tying score.
Luck answered by moving the Colts 45 yards in 23 seconds to set up the Vinatieri field goal.