Indianapolis Colts Game Balls: Week 15 vs. Vikings
Each week, we single out an outstanding Indianapolis Colts player from each area of the game - offense, defense, and special teams - for their positive impact on the team's outcome. Sunday, the Colts (7-7) beat the Minnesota Vikings (7-7), 34-6.
Erik Swoope, Tight End
3 receptions, 50 yards, 1 touchdown
After a 34-6 blowout win versus Minnesota on Sunday, there is a handful of players deserving of the offensive game ball, but the most deserving would undoubtedly have to be Erik Swoope. The third-year tight end scored his first career NFL touchdown against the Vikings and picked up 50 yards receiving on 3 catches. For most players, their first career NFL touchdown is a result of a lifetime of hard work and dedication to the game. For Swoope, a college basketball star turned NFL tight end, the touchdown marked the first at any level of play. His life might not have been dedicated to becoming a football player, but with the hard work he has put in during his time in Indianapolis, he sure is starting to look like someone who has. Praised by his teammates and coaches for his work ethic, Swoope seems to be finally getting his opportunity. His 6’5" frame makes him the Colts' biggest tight end, and arguably the most athletic of the bunch, similarly to Coby Fleener before his departure for New Orleans. Over the past few weeks, Swoope’s role in the offense has increased, and if he continues to progress, it will continue to grow.
Mike Adams, Safety
7 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception
While picking the offensive game ball proved to be more of a challenge than usual, the defensive game ball is a no-brainer. Against the Vikings, Mike Adams, the leader of the defense, caused two turnovers. The first was a forced fumble on Adrian Peterson, who was returning from injury. The fumble was translated into seven points, and Adams wasn’t done there. On the ensuing Vikings drive, he intercepted a Sam Bradford pass to give the Colts the ball once again, resulting in a touchdown on consecutive drives. With Clayton Geathers and TJ Green waiting in the shadows as the future at safety for the Colts, Adams’ time in Indianapolis is limited, and with this being the final year of his contract, this type of performance might have been his last in the blue and white. Regardless, “Pops,” is showing that he still has plenty to give. However and whenever his time in Indiana ends, he can leave knowing he gave all he could, and his performance against Minnesota was proof.
Chester Rogers, Wide Receiver, Punt Returner
3 receptions, 24 yards, 1 return, 30 yards
It was a fairly quiet day for the Colts in the special teams department. However, one player who stood out from the bunch would be Chester Rogers. His lone punt return went for 30 yards, giving his team great field position. The first-year wide receiver is proving to be a valuable asset to Andrew Luck and the offense as well, hauling in 3 catches for 24 yards against the Vikings. Adam Vinatieri could get the nod as well, but he's received the game ball on more than a few occasions so far this season.
Jeff Tibbins covers the Indianapolis Colts for Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeff_tibbins.
Tweets by @spot_colts