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Adrian Peterson will start for Minnesota Vikings vs. Colts

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Backed into obvious passing situations on third downs early in the game, Mariota shook off a slow start to lead a spirited comeback attempt. His beautiful 34-yard play-action touchdown pass to Tajae Sharpe moved him past Warren Moon for most consecutive games (7) in franchise history with two or more scoring passes. His first touchdown throw was just as impressive, as he evaded a Hassan Ridgeway sack and fired a bullet to DeMarco Murray from three yards out. In 23 career starts, Mariota has 31 touchdowns without an interception in the red zone. Over his last seven games, Mariota has completed 67.6 percent of his passes at 8.4 yards per attempt for a 19:3 TD-to-INT ratio and 116.8 passer rating.

Grigson had plenty of opportunities to recover from that swing-and-miss, only to continue striking out in free agency and the draft.

Armed with a precocious franchise quarterback, an abundance of salary-cap space and a clear path to the top of the division, Grigson had a prime opportunity to recapture the dynasty days of the Peyton Manning era.

According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the feeling among Colts players is that they could be coached harder and that there could be a lack of accountability in some places. If that does not fall on embattled head coach Chuck Pagano, might it manifest elsewhere?

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“I still think there’s some discussion going on in that building there about what they want to do and cheap jerseys and how they want to go forward and it’s not just me thinking it; that’s what I’m hearing from a lot of people,” Garafolo said on NFL Total Access on Tuesday. “Now according to a couple of players, the feeling in that locker room is that across the board on the coaching staff, they’re not coached hard enough, that there’s not enough of a level of discipline, I guess you could say.

On Sunday, the Colts might have saved their season with a big road win over the Packers — the team’s first win at Lambeau Field in almost three decades. That’s not the strange part. What’s weird is the thread that ties the conquests together.Chicago Bears Nike Youth Team Color Game Jersey

The first incident occurred during a Nov. 13, 1988 game in which, as explained by a fresh-faced Bob Costas, a disgruntled fan brought a turkey to the stadium to express his displeasure with an especially crappy pre-Favre Green Bay team. The obvious question: How does one smuggle a full-grown turkey past security?

The 10-year veteran could be a breath of fresh air for a rapidly-stalling Vikings offense. The team is currently 24th in points, 31st in total yards, and 32nd in rushing yards. Peterson had 50 yards on 31 carries through two games this season before placing him on injured reserve in late September. While their banged-up offensive line is a source of many woes, Peterson is one of the few players in football who can negate deficiencies up front.

The Vikings (7-6) are well aware that they have to win out to keep their lofty playoff goals alive — a road that starts this weekend against the Indianapolis Colts. Peterson certainly cannot hurt those chances, and has already moved his return date up a week. His original expectation was to be back for next weekend’s matchup against the division-rival Packers.

Luck has a sharp sense of self-awareness, bolstered by his own offseason self-evaluation, and this might be the first year when we can truly look at him as a legitimate veteran. No longer a rookie, nor the NFL’s version of a budding teenager, Luck has reached a point where his time is very much in the now. Based on his talk with Johnson, he seems to know it.

That was the takeaway at the outset of mandatory minicamp, which has provided the most official look at a roster built with the clear purpose of surpassing the New England Patriots — as well as every other AFC team — and representing the conference in Super Bowl 50. Even last year, when the Colts went to the AFC Championship Game, it felt like this team had room to grow around Luck.