Our game started off pretty strong with a dominant defense again and some nice drives by the offense to go up 13 - 0 early. Early on we saw a game plan by Denver to stop the run by Minnesota and make them throw on us. I loved seeing 8 man boxes early and completely bottling up Adrian Peterson
We finally got a nice run play early when Ronnie Hillman housed a huge run where he got the ball in space. Many of us were asking for more of these types of plays for him and we saw some decent success even with C.J. Anderson running to the outside.
What we can't seem to get away from is the short WR screen throws that haven't been successful consistently in a long time. In this game we threw short stuff to DT that was consistently covered up for no significant gains.
Manning had DT on lock for better or worse this game and later in the 4th quarter decided to throw the ball to the other team. It was a terrible pass that was overthrown and really handed the Vikings 3 points on a platter.
For our final drive of the night, I liked the poise that the offense showed. We ran the ball. We passed the ball. We moved down into scoring position and took a shot at the end zone that unfortunately didn't connect, but we got the lead and only left 1:51 for the Vikings to work with.
Defensive questions and answers
Early on we challenged Teddy Bridgewater to throw on us in man coverage. By the end of the half he had some things figured out as he was lighting up our man coverage schemes all over. At halftime we switched things up and started using more zone concepts which for a time slowed down the Viking passing game.
Our run defense was very impressive up until a 4th and 1 where our front seven completely fell apart and let AP have a 40+ yard TD. It was a very poor play by the defense as a unit.
Late in the game, our pass rush was missing. We didn't blitz much and they rushers that were going looked very gassed. This caused the secondary to have to cover abnormally long and made them susceptible to some double moves. It was honestly pretty disheartening to me to see the defense get worn down so much.
At the end of the day though we saw a familiar thing to Broncos this year: a big play from our defense to win the game. Wade Phillips dialed up a superb safety blitz to seal the game with a fumble recovery.
Do I like everything I'm seeing on the field lately? No.
That's because as fans we want "Star Wars numbers" - want the opposition obliterated and the good guys winning in big fashion. But how about "Star Wars finishes"? I take a lot of satisfaction though in seeing all the good football we've seen from Denver through 4 weeks of the season. We play the game as a team. We win as a team. I love complementary football. Our offense did its job and got points on the board to give us a lead. Our special teams units never gave up big plays and our kicking game kept scoring its points. Our defense ended the game with a huge play.
Every Bronco is a winner today. What a great team win!