ST. PAUL -- Heath Farwell had seen this type of special-teams coverage before. Two years ago, Farwell was flying all over the field, making tackles for the Minnesota Vikings, making sure there weren't many costly returns by opponents. The Vikings...
ST. PAUL -- Heath Farwell had seen this type of special-teams coverage before.
Two years ago, Farwell was flying all over the field, making tackles for the Minnesota Vikings, making sure there weren't many costly returns by opponents.
The Vikings' exhibition opener last week at Indianapolis was a flashback to the past. Farwell, their special-teams ace, was back on the field, and with plenty of contributions from others, the Vikings' coverage units were a bright spot, holding the Colts without a good return all night.
After the Vikings scored a touchdown on their opening possession, Farwell helped make sure there was no unnecessary excitement on the ensuing kickoff. Eric Frampton was credited with the tackle, and Farwell played a role as well, limiting Jamie Silva to a 12-yard kick return.
Throughout the game, the coverage units did their job. Last season, the Vikings' special teams allowed an NFL-record seven touchdowns.
"I was definitely excited to see guys flying around, having fun, and guys making plays," Farwell said.
The Colts finished with four kickoff returns for a paltry average of 15.3 yards, the longest only 18 yards. On two punt returns, the Colts averaged six yards.
Farwell was sorely missed last year, when he was sidelined with a knee injury, but in the preseason opener other Vikings contributed.
Frampton made a flashy tackle on the second Vikings' kickoff. Chad Simpson caught the ball at the 5-yard line and was hemmed in on a 13-yard return. He was hit hard by Frampton, and Kenny Onatolu also was there.
"It was a different guy each time," Farwell said. "Guys were stepping up. Even when we made the tackle inside the 20, there were four guys waiting for them. There was a bunch of guys making plays."
Vikings coach Brad Childress appeared to be happy, too. It was an important first step in getting the confidence back in the coverage units.
"A lot of good things in the coverage game. I don't know how many times we pinned them back inside the 20-yard line, but if you can continue to do that and guys can keep that lane integrity and do things they're supposed to do, very promising."
The Colts had seven possessions that started at or inside their own 20.
One of the best hits of the game was when Glenn Holt hit T.J. Rushing immediately after he tried to field a 52-yard punt from Chris Kluwe. Holt hit him around his knees and helped jar the ball loose, causing a fumble that went out of bounds.