The Indianapolis Colts are looking to get in the win column in their home opener of the 2012 NFL season. Coming off of a disappointing loss to the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis returns home to face the Minnesota Vikings. Andrew Luck is looking to bounce back from a poor performance in his first NFL game. For Luck and the Colts, Minnesota presents a much more favorable matchup than Chicago did. I think this is a very winnable game for Indianapolis.
Fans should look for the the Colt offense to get off to a better start in this game. I think that Indianapolis should be able to run the ball more often and more effectively in this game. I would look for Donald Brown and Vick Ballard to play a much bigger role in this game. The passing game should also be helped by the return of rookie receiver TY Hilton. I'm still very concerned about the offensive line, but hopefully the comfort of playing at home will help this young Colt team. If anyone on the line does struggle, I would look for veteran addition Trai Essex to join the starting lineup very quickly.
On defense, the big challenge facing Indianapolis is stopping running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson is back from his knee injury and looked very good in week one. The defensive line of Cory Redding, Antonio Johnson, and Fili Moala will be challenged with leading the effort at stopping the run. The crowd will need to be behind them and Indianapolis will need to play much better defensively than they did in week one. It will certainly help that they are playing a much less explosive offense this week.
Fans should look for a much closer game and one that will be close all the way into the fourth quarter. I think Andrew Luck and the young Colt team will feed off the home crowd and will be able to come up with their first win of the 2012 season.
Prediction: Colts 30, Vikings 24
Kyle Rapoza is a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and has been a lifelong fan of the Indianapolis Colts. He attended Super Bowl XLIV in Miami and follows the team closely. He runs a blog about the team at www.coltsfansonline.com.