A fast start Sunday from Christian Ponder would give the Vikings defense a chance to go after Colts QB Andrew Luck. (US Presswire)k

Vikings at Colts -- Week 2

Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind. (turf, indoors)

When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Spread: Vikings by 1.5

Records: Vikings (Overall: 1-0, NFC North: 0-0); Colts (Overall: 0-1, AFC South: 0-0)

Past results: Two most recent meetings -- September. 14, 2008: Colts 18, Vikings 15; November 8, 2004: Colts 31, Vikings 28. Series record: Indianapolis/Baltimore Colts lead 15-7-1.

What matters: The Vikings play a must-win game for the second week in a row, as they face the Colts in a winnable road game in Indianapolis. The Colts struggled mightily last season, finishing with a 2-14 record. Now that Peyton Manning has moved on to Denver, this is Andrew Luck's team now. The rookie played a decent game in a 41-21 loss to the Bears in Week 1. The Vikings have a good shot at starting 2-0 for the first time since 2009. Expect another game of shared carries between RBs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, but the key will be QB Christian Ponder. He has to get off to a quick start and give the defense a chance to settle in and go after Luck in his second pro start. The defensive leaders were not satisfied with the effort against the Jaguars and will be fired up to make things tough for the rookie quarterback. 

Who matters: In the season opener against Jacksonville, DE Jared Allen pulled a rare double-zero -- no sacks and no tackles. This week the Vikings have to get pressure on Luck. Allen, and the Vikings' defense, can't afford to allow Luck, who passed for 309 yards and three interceptions against the Bears, time to pass. The Vikings did sack Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert twice (Chris Cook and Erin Henderson), and they hit him a total of seven times. With Allen facing Colts LT Anthony Castonzo, who struggled last week against the Bears, he should be able to get some pressure, and touches, on Luck.

Key matchups: If the Colts are going to succeed against the Vikings, it will likely be through the air. Last week against the Bears they rushed for 63 yards, while Luck threw 45 times. Luck targeted WR Reggie Wayne on 18 of those passes. The Vikings' secondary did OK against the Jaguars until CB Chris Cook was beat by WR Cecil Shorts for the go-ahead score with 20 seconds remaining. If Cook can lock down Wayne, the Vikings will take a big part of the Colts offense out of the game. “I have a lot of respect for his game, and I am looking forward to playing against him,” Cook said of Wayne.

Injuries of note: Peterson looked good in his return from his knee injury, and he should see an increased workload. Coach Leslie Frazier isn’t ready to make Peterson the full-time back, yet. Still, he did carry the ball 17 times against Jacksonville. LB Marvin Mitchell (ankle) returned to practice this week, as did WR Jarius Wright (ankle) and S Andrew Sendejo (ankle). The Vikings came out of the Jaguars game with no major injuries and should have the full complement of players when rolling into Lucas Oil Field.

For the Colts, DE/LB Dwight Freeney has a high-ankle sprain and might be out for a couple weeks. That could make life a little easier for LT Matt Kalil and Ponder.

Inside stuff: Gerhart and Luck played together at Stanford and were good friends. Luck referred to Gerhart as his big brother. “We had lunch every Thursday. It'll be nice to talk to him before the game," Luck said.

Connections: Several members of the Vikings return to Indianapolis on Sunday. Coach Leslie Frazier, defensive coordinator Alan Williams and LG Charlie Johnson make their return to Indianapolis. Frazier coached the defensive backs and was special assistant to Tony Dungy in Indianapolis from 2005-06. Williams worked with the defensive backs from 2002-11. All three were with the Colts during their Super Bowl title run in 2006. In addition, Colts RB Mewelde Moore played for the Vikings from 2004-07.

Stat you should know: A trend that shows the Vikings should win: The Vikings are 3-0 since 2009 against rookie quarterbacks selected No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft -- Lions QB Matthew Stafford (twice in 2009) and Panthers QB Cam Newton in 2011.

A trend that shows why the Vikings should not win: The Vikings are 0-10 on the road against the Colts, including 0-2 in Indianapolis. However, this will be their first game in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Record watch: WR-KR Percy Harvin scored a rushing, receiving and kick-return touchdown in each of the past two seasons; he is the only player in the NFL to accomplish that feat. Harvin is also the only player in NFL with a kick-return touchdown in each of the previous three seasons (2009-11). If the number of times and variety of ways Harvin was used in the opener against Jacksonville is any indication, he will have the opportunity to extend those unique streaks this season. After one game, however, he has no touchdowns.

Looking ahead: Next week the Vikings return home to the Metrodome to take on the San Francisco 49ers, who they played in the first game of the preseason. The Niners opened their season with a big win over the Packers in Green Bay and have been a very tough road team of late. The schedule doesn’t get any easier the following week as the Vikings travel to Detroit to take on the Lions in their first NFC North Division game.

Prediction: Vikings 27, Colts 23

For more Vikings news and notes, follow Joe Oberle on Twitter @CBSVikings and @joeoberle.