Colts: 3 key matchups we’re excited to see vs Vikings

Colts CBs Rock Ya-Sin and Xavier Rhodes (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Colts CBs Rock Ya-Sin and Xavier Rhodes (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

2. Colts Linebackers vs Dalvin Cook

To beat the Vikings, Indy will need to limit Dalvin Cook as much as possible.

We totally understand that stopping the run starts with the defensive line clogging up holes in the backfield, but it’s not nearly as simple as that when you encounter a running back as shifty and agile as Dalvin Cook, who makes a defender (or two) miss on seemingly every one of his touches.

Assuming that trend continues into Week 2, the second level of the Colts’ defense will be key in preventing him from ripping off big runs. That’s easier said than done, but Indianapolis has an extremely versatile linebacking corps that’s led by tackling savant Darius Leonard.

Though Cook rushed for two touchdowns in Week 1, the Packers did an excellent job at hampering his home run ability as he totaled just 50 yards on 12 carries. A 4.2 YPC isn’t a bad average by any stretch as Minnesota was forced to go pass heavy in the second half, but Cook was also stymied in the passing game (one reception for -2 yards), where he normally flourishes.

If the Colts don’t allow Cook to establish a rhythm and force Kirk Cousins to beat them, they will be in good shape. However, if they don’t and the the Vikings quarterback is allowed to embrace his preferred role as a game manager with Cook leading the way, well, that could spell a world of trouble for Indianapolis.