- CHRIS TOMASSON
Colts Safety Mike Adams Causes Havoc for Vikings’ Sam Bradford, Adrian Peterson
Sam Bradford and Adrian Peterson will be seeing Indianapolis safety Mike Adams in their nightmares.
In the second quarter of the Colts’ 34-6 win Sunday over the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium, Adams stripped the ball from Peterson, the running back who returned to play for the first time since suffering a knee injury in Week 2. That led to a touchdown and a 24-0 Indianapolis lead.
In the final minute of the quarter, Adams picked off a pass from Bradford at the Vikings 36. That led to a 50-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri on the final play of the first half for a 27-0 lead.
“I was probably just being greedy,’’ said the Minnesota quarterback. “I forced it and I just can’t do that, especially late in the half. The last thing you want to do is give them the ability to score again. I just can’t make that throw.’’
It was Bradford’s low moment on a day in which he completed 32 of 42 passes for 291 yards.
In the first half, Bradford completed just 5 of 8 passes for 52 yards. He padded his stats once the Colts took a big lead and allowed him to complete short balls at will.
“It’s just one of those things where it didn’t go great early and it kind of snowballed,’’ Bradford said. “The next thing you know, we’re down three or four scores.’’
Bradford was sacked five times and under pressure throughout. He was able to frequently find tight end Kyle Rudolph, who had eight catches for 97 yards.
Bradford, though, never was able to get wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen into the game. Diggs caught just two passes for 13 yards and Thielen didn’t have a single reception before being lost with a concussion in the third quarter when Indianapolis cornerback Darius Butler was flagged for hitting a defenseless receiver.
“We just got to find a way to get Diggs the ball,’’ Bradford said. “He’s too good of a player not to have the opportunities.’’
Bradford had been optimistic after Minnesota’s offense looked good in a 25-16 win Dec. 11 at Jacksonville. Making him even more excited was Peterson being back for the first time since suffering a torn right meniscus Sept. 18 against Green Bay.
“We felt great and, obviously, with getting Adrian back, we were really excited when we found out that he was going to be playing,’’ Bradford said. “We just didn’t do enough to get him going and give ourselves an opportunity to get into a rhythm with him in the game.’’
Peterson, who rushed six times for 22 yards, didn’t help himself. After breaking off a 13-yard run in the second quarter, he had the ball stripped by Adams when the Vikings were trying to cut into a 17-0 deficit.
“(Adams) made a great play,’’ Peterson said. “I remember pushing for a stiff arm. And as I went down, the ball got loose. I don’t know if someone hit it out or it squirted out. It was a poor job by me with ball security.’’
The Colts soon extended the lead to 24-0. Then the Vikings took over on their 23 with 28 seconds left in the half.
Why didn’t Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer take a knee?
“It’s still early in the game,’’ he said.
Soon, though, it was too late for the Vikings. And Adams had plenty to do with that.