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Colts 2016 season in review: Week 15 win over the Vikings

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

As part of our look back at the 2016 season for the Indianapolis Colts, we’re taking a look at each game the team played this season. We know that won’t be the most fun experience for Colts fans, but we’re taking a look back at each game within the context of the entire season. Today we continue the series with the week fifteen win over the Vikings:

What Happened:

A week after their crushing home loss to the Texans, the Colts went on the road to face a 7-6 Vikings team - and the Colts proceeded to dominate. They got things started in the first quarter with a 48-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri followed by a touchdown rush by Robert Turbin, and they didn’t let up in the second quarter. Erik Swoope caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Luck, Robert Turbin added another touchdown rush, and Vinatieri nailed a 50-yard field goal. At halftime, it was all Colts as they led 24-0. The Vikings would get things going a bit more in the second half with two field goals, but they were sandwiched around another Andrew Luck touchdown pass, this time a 50-yarder to Phillip Dorsett. From start to finish, it was a dominating performance by the Colts as they evened their record up at .500 on the year with a 34-6 victory. Andrew Luck was really good on the day; Frank Gore rushed for over 100 yards; Robert Turbin scored two touchdowns; and even Erik Swoope caught three passes for 50 yards and a score. The defense, meanwhile, held the Vikings to just 282 total yards and six points while forcing three turnovers.

What We Said at the Time:

The Colts now improve to 7-7 - but thanks to the Titans and Texans both winning today, the Colts’ chances are even worse than at the beginning of the day. They’ll have to take care of business the rest of the way plus get a lot of help, and that’s the maddening thing about this team: you never know if they will, because you never know which team is going to show up week-to-week. For example, over their past five games, the Colts won by seven, then lost by 21, then won by 31, then lost by five, then today won by 28. The main point? The team that showed up today has been incredibly inconsistent, but at least today they showed up in a big way with an incredibly impressive, dominating performance to even their record back up at .500. This was their best performance of the season, but the question is: did it come too late?

What We’re Saying Now:

Once again, this game against the Vikings confronted Colts fans with the reality that they never knew what to expect from Indianapolis this year. A blowout loss? Yeah, that could happen at any time. A blowout win? That was equally as possible. With a dominating win over the Jets followed by a dominating win over the Vikings two weeks later (both on the road), you’d have thought the Colts were finally putting things together at just the right time... but in-between those two games was the ugly loss to the Texans at home. Once again, you never knew what to expect from the Colts in 2016. This was a very good win, however, and it came against a very strong defense (one that was particularly strong against the pass). So the Colts winning 34-6 on the road against that team deserves a lot of credit, but in the grand scheme of the season it really didn’t have a huge impact because it came too late, one week after the Colts’ season essentially ended.