Colts vs Vikings: Week 2 NFL preseason preview

The Minnesota Vikings face the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2 of the NFL’s preseason schedule. In a clash of young quarterbacks Jacob Eason and Kellen Mond, we preview the top matchups for Saturday’s Colts vs Vikings game.

See where the Colts and Vikings land in our latest NFL power rankings

Colts vs Vikings: What you need to know

  • The Vikings host the Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday, August 21 at 8:00 p.m. EST on FOX 59 and FOX 9.
  • Sportsnaut says the Indianapolis Colts will beat the Minnesota Vikings, 23-17
  • Odds: The Vikings are a 3-point favorite over the Colts with a 39 over/under

Let’s dive into matchups to watch for the Colts vs Vikings.

Jacob Eason vs Kellen Mond

Colts vs Vikings
Aug 14, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond (11) scrambles against the Denver Broncos in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

If all goes well for the Indianapolis Colts, Jacob Eason won’t start a single regular-season game. But the Carson Wentz injury heightened the urgency for Indianapolis to have a reliable backup quarterback. While there’s a battle between Eason and Sam Ehlinger, there is a clear favorite and Saturday’s game is another test.

Click here for our 2021 NFL quarterback rankings

As for the Vikings, this is all about the future. Kirk Cousins has missed just one game since becoming a starter in 2015. So, there isn’t pressure on Kellen Mond to do well right away. But the Vikings want their third-round pick to take advantage of reps in the preseason and Saturday’s contest could be a glimpse into his future.

  • Efficient Eason: Making his NFL debut, Eason started the preseason opener and completed 15-of-21 passes for 183 yards, averaging 8.7 yards per attempt. He built off that confidence with a strong week of practice, per The Athletic, and will look to build on that momentum against a secondary that allowed 3 TDs in Week 1.
  • More from Mond: It should come as no surprise that Mond (6-of-16, 53 passing yards) struggled in his preseason debut. Because of Minnesota’s COVID outbreak, he had little time to practice early in camp. After receiving more reps, expect the rookie to see more snaps and look more comfortable against Indy.

Advantage: Jacob Eason

Colts’ wide receivers vs. Vikings’ secondary

Colts vs Vikings
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman (11) pulls in a pass in the corner of the end zone Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, during a joint practice with the Carolina Panthers. Indianapolis Colts Host Carolina Panthers At Grand Park In Westfield Ind

Mike Zimmer wasn’t pleased with his defense’s performance in Week 1. While Minnesota didn’t field its best starters, a defensive-minded coach won’t enjoy his secondary allow Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock to complete 12-of-15 attempts for 225 yards and three touchdowns. Let’s see what changes come after a week of practice.

Check out where the Vikings land in our NFL defense rankings

  • Pittman Show: Michael Pittman Jr., the No. 34 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, had some impressive moments as a rookie. But the Colts are expecting a significant leap in his second season, eyeing a 1,000-yard season. Considering the tools he showed at USC and in 2020, Pittman is capable of reaching that goal.
  • Dusted Dantzler: Cameron Dantzler faced longer odds to win the Vikings’ No. 2 cornerback spot, getting turned into dust by KJ Hamler on an 80-yard touchdown didn’t help. The Vikings 2020 third-round pick must show more consistency if he wants to play meaningful snaps in the regular season.

Advantage: Indianapolis Colts

Kwity Paye vs. Vikings’ offensive line

NFL: Indianapolis Colts OTA
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts needed to find an edge rusher and they landed one, selecting Kwity Paye with the 21st pick in the NFL Draft. The 6-foot-2 pass rusher is coming along nicely, with a development plan detailed by The Athletic’s Stephen Holder. He’s in for a challenge in the Colts vs Vikings matchup.

Related: NFL Top 100 Players of 2021 – Cowboys’ stars rise, Ja’Marr Chase debuts

  • Experience Matters: With first-round pick Christian Darrisaw sidelined, the Vikings are relying on Rashod Hill at left tackle. While he only has 17 career starts in six seasons, the 6-foot-6 tackle has played 59 games and will use that experience against a rookie.
  • Paye’s Potential: Paye was one of the best athletes in college football last season and it made him a first-round pick. You won’t find many edge rushers with this combination of length, fluidity and pure athleticism. It’s going to take time for Paye to develop pass-rush moves, but his long-term upside is high.

Advantage: Minnesota Vikings

The bottom line: With starters like Dalvin Cook and Kirk Cousins resting, the door is open for Indianapolis to take this matchup. Comparing key aspects of the Colts vs Vikings clash, Indianapolis holds the edge at enough positions to sneak away with a victory.

Related: Predicting NFL playoff teams and Super Bowl 2022 winner