Broncos def. Vikings on SNF: Recap & analysis

Broncos def. Vikings on SNF: Recap & analysis

The Broncos overcame an eight-point second-half deficit to beat the Vikings on Sunday Night Football. The Athletic’s NFL experts and insiders break it down.

Alec Lewis, Nick Kosmider and The Athletic NFL staff

Dustin Bradford / Getty Images

Broncos riding high after knocking off Vikings, sealing fourth-straight win

The Denver Broncos are riding high after a dramatic 21-20 win on “Sunday Night Football” against the Minnesota Vikings. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Down 20-15 with 3:17 remaining, the Broncos needed a touchdown to take the lead. Denver quarterback Russell Wilson found receiver Courtland Sutton, who made a high jump touchdown catch in the back of the end zone with 1:03 left, to take a 21-20 lead.
  • After a failed 2-point attempt, the Vikings needed a field goal on the subsequent drive to win the game. On fourth-and-25 with 16 seconds left, Minnesota quarterback Josh Dobbs threw an incomplete pass, turning the ball over on downs and ending the game.
  • Wilson finished 27-of-35 passing for 259 yards and a touchdown. Dobbs, meanwhile, was 20-of-32 passing for 221 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
  • The Broncos won their fourth-straight game, improving to 5-5 on the season. The Vikings fall to 6-5.

Read more here.

Need tickets? Here you can find the best deals to see your favorite NFL team.


Broncos win fourth straight on dramatic TD vs. Vikings: How Denver’s defense became a turnover machine

Broncos’ winning drive vs. Vikings a microcosm for belief Sean Payton’s team is building

ourtland Sutton had no problem shaking off the contact from Minnesota Vikings defensive back Mekhi Blackmon as he hauled in a game-winning 15-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson on Sunday night.

Surviving the hit from his own teammate proved to be the bigger challenge.

“You see my reaction?” wide receiver Jerry Jeudy said after the Denver Broncos’ 21-20 win over the Vikings. “I damn near almost broke my dog’s neck. I was so excited, man.”

After Sutton caught the touchdown pass that gave the Broncos the lead with 63 seconds left, washing away a night of offensive frustration, Jeudy jumped on Sutton’s back, nearly pulling his teammate down in the celebratory chaos. Sutton stumbled backward for a minute, but he didn’t fall.

He and the Broncos are still standing. With seven games left, they will reach Thanksgiving very much alive in the race for an AFC playoff spot. It’s a possibility that becomes more realistic by the week, growing like the belief in Denver’s locker room that this four-game winning streak is only the start of a special run.

Read more here.


Broncos’ winning drive vs. Vikings a microcosm for belief Sean Payton’s team is building

The Athletic Football Show is live

Don’t miss out on The Athletic Football Show, where Nate Tice and Robert Mays are breaking down all of today’s action right now.

Watch here.

Broncos take lead on Russell Wilson TD pass

The Broncos take the lead on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Courtland Sutton.

Denver entered the drive having had one possession gain more than 50 yards and the Broncos went 75 yards in 10 plays to take the lead.

If the score holds, it will mark Wilson’s 31st career regular-season fourth-quarter comeback, tying John Elway for the ninth-most since 1950, per Stathead.

No. 14 has had a night

Courtland Sutton with ANOTHER red zone touchdown. Went up and got it.

No. 14 has had a night.

Broncos chasing rare late rally

The Broncos are 1-11 in their last 12 games in which they trailed by five or more points in the fourth quarter.

Denver’s only such win over that span came in Week 4 against the Bears (trailed 28-14, won 31-28).

Broncos, Vikings love field goals

Greg Joseph extends the Vikings’ lead with a 30-yard field goal, the seventh combined field goal for the two teams tonight.

It’s the 10th game with seven or more combined field goals this season and Denver and Minnesota have been involved in three of them:

  • Tonight against each other
  • Broncos Week 5 vs. Jets
  • Vikings Week 9 at Falcons

Broncos need a TD to win

Facing fourth-and-4 from their own 31-yard line, the Vikings, leading 17-15 with 9:24 remaining, lined up to punt the ball back to the Broncos.

But Kevin O’Connell called for a direct snap to running back Ty Chandler, who rumbled largely untouched for a gain of 31. After another fourth-down conversion, Minnesota drove into the Denver red zone, but they stalled there and kicked a field goal to go up 20-15. The Broncos now need a touchdown to win.

Brian Flores’ defense has done it again

Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

After the Denver took over at the Minnesota 9-yard line, Flores’ unit gets another red zone stop. On third-and-goal, the Vikings brought the house, then Joejuan Williams broke up Russell Wilson’s pass to Jerry Jeudy.

A gigantic play from a dude who hasn’t played all year. Which is kind of just what this team does.

Another takeaway, another field goal

The Broncos have three takeaways and the good news is each of them led to Denver points. The bad news is all three led to field goals. The last of which after Jerry Jeudy couldn’t corral Russell Wilson’s third-down pass in the end zone.

Kicker Wil Lutz has five FGs and has accounted for all 15 Broncos points tonight.

Broncos turn Vikings over again

Back-to-back takeaways for the Broncos, this one an interception by Ja’Quan McMillian.

Denver converted its first two turnovers into field goals and now it takes over at the Vikings’ 9-yard line.

Why Broncos believe their ability to force TOs

Forcing turnovers has been a key to the Broncos going on a three-game winning streak. Alexander Mattison’s fumble was the 11th turnover Denver has forced in the past three games. The Athletic‘s Nick Kosmider has more about this surge in defense.

Read here.

Broncos can’t extend drives

The Broncos go three-and-out again, their third of the game, and fall to 0-for-7 on third down.

Denver had converted 42.2 percent of third downs during its three-game win streak, 11th in the NFL since Week 7.

Dobbs through the air, on the ground

Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

Joshua Dobbs extends the Vikings’ lead on a 10-yard scramble touchdown. Dating back to his final start with the Cardinals, Dobbs has now thrown AND rushed for touchdowns in four-straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL.

His three-straight games with passing and rushing scores to begin his time in Minnesota are the most by a player to begin his career with a team in NFL history, per NBC.

Another drive, another impressive showing from Dobbs

The Vikings quarterback leads his team down the field with rocket-scientist-like precision — thanks to an 18-yard completion to Jordan Addison and an obvious 19-yard pass-interference call — and finishes it off with a 10-yard scramble for a touchdown.

Dobbs, who hasn’t yet been with the Vikings for three weeks, leads the team in rushing touchdowns with three.

Stat that sticks out most from Broncos’ first half

Ron Chenoy / USA Today


That’s how many carries Denver had in the opening 30 minutes, all of them by running back Javonte Williams for a total of 16 yards. The Broncos built a three-game winning streak on a running attack that has been more efficient over the past month, but they never had a chance to lean on the backfield.

Denver picked up only one first down among its first three drives and went three-and-out on two of those. The Broncos added to late field goals with the help of a couple deep throws from quarterback Russell Wilson, who had 132 yards passing in the first half.

But if Denver is going to gain control of this game in the second half, they need to find some rhythm in the ground game.

Most interesting part of Vikings’ first half

Dustin Bradford / Getty Images

The Vikings’ run game, and the Broncos ability to apply pressure on Josh Dobbs. Minnesota running backs Alexander Mattison and Ty Chandler combined for 80 yards in that first half. Only three times this season have Vikings back finished the game with 80 yards rushing.

Simultaneously, the Broncos have recorded five quarterback hurries in that first half. Their pressure has prevented Dobbs from attempting to move the ball into the intermediate and deep areas of the field. The 10-9 lead is a byproduct of a red-zone back and forth.

Minnesota has forced two Broncos field goals in the red zone, while the Vikings punched in one trip for a touchdown and another for a field goal.

Denver closes half with third Lutz FG

Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

The Broncos drove 46 yards in 1:11 and closed the half with a 52-yard field goal by Wil Lutz, his third of the half.

Lutz has now made three first-half field goals in three of his last four games, something he’d done only three previous times in his six-year career.

Broncos chip away with another Lutz FG

After the Vikings took a 10-3 lead, the Broncos answer with their longest drive of the game (63 yards) and add another Wil Lutz field goal.

Lutz has now made multiple field goals in four straight and eight of 10 games this season.

Vikings staying hot early in games

After forcing another Broncos’ three-and-out, the Vikings move into the red zone but have to settle for a Greg Joseph 34-yard field goal.

Minnesota has now outscored its opponents by 49 points in the first half since the start of its five-game win streak 82 to 33, third best in the NFL over that span.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *