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Broncos-Vikings score prediction: Just try to keep it close, Denver

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Do the Denver Broncos have any chance in this game against the Minnesota Vikings? Only one of our Mile High Report staffers thinks so...

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos will take to the road at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis in a game against the Minnesota Vikings. As 10.5-point underdogs, few people anywhere are thinking they have any chance to win the game.

Those people are in this post as well. The Mile High Report staff is mostly hoping for a hard fought game, but all but one of us is expecting a loss on Sunday. Collectively, we have the Vikings beating the Broncos 25-16. Hey, at least they covered the spread here.

Here is how we each think things go down individually.

Vikings 24, Broncos 13

The Brandon Allen hype lasts a few weeks less than the Gardner Minshew hype as the veteran backup crashes back to reality against a top ten defense. The defense plays strong and keeps the game in question, so that will leave us feeling encouraged by things. If only they could find a quarterback ... — Tim Lynch

Broncos 20, Vikings 17

Kirk Cousins has now started 83 games in his NFL career. His team is 41-40-2 when he starts. This season he and his offense have only faced two defenses that are in the top 10 in points per game allowed, Chicago which held MIN to 6 points and Dallas which gave up 28 points to the Vikings. Minnesota lost to the Bears in Chicago and beat the Cowboys in Dallas. In 2018 Cousins led the Vikings’ offense twice against the top ranked scoring defense, CHI, and lost both times scoring 20 and 10 points in the two losses. The only other top 10 scoring defenses that Cousins and the Vikings faced in 2018 was the Patriots. The Vikings scored 10 points and lost at New England.

Over the past season and a half, Cousins and the Vikings offense have not fared very well against top 10 defenses (1 win, 4 losses). If the Broncos offense can score 20 points, I like our chances. Over the past 26 games (2018 and 2019 so far), the Vikings have allowed 20 or more points 14 times - they are 4-9-1 in those games. I say Denver wins this 20-17 on a late FG where we flip the script and do what has been done thrice to us this year - kick the game-winning FG with little or no time left on the clock. Joe Mahoney

Vikings 24 Broncos 16

Broncos Beat Down by Kubz and Co. The Broncos are going to be physically challenged in the trenches. The Vikings have multiple explosive playmakers that compliment each other. But to me TE Kyle Rudolph is warming up with production (4 catches and 2 TDS last week) and will challenge DEN in red zone. Broncos offensive line struggles will continue to bleed all over the offense particularly at LT, RG and RT barring no over the head shotgun snaps from McGovern. Allen sacked 4 times and knocked down 5. 2 turnovers from offense. — Luke Patterson

Vikings 26, Broncos 16

Two weeks ago me and Tim were the only ones willing to bet on the Broncos against the Browns. I even went as far as betting that Brandon Allen would represent an upgrade at quarterback over ol’ Joe Flacco.

To keep the good times rolling, Rich Scangarelo’s going to need to call the game of his life to maximize his rushing attack against Linval Joseph-less Vikings. He’s going to need moving pockets to leverage Allen’s mobility and help spring Courtland Sutton free in the secondary.Even more than that, Vic Fangio will need to confuse Kirk Cousins enough to create turnovers. I don’t think it’ll be enough to harass him. Someone’s going to need to steal a possession or two.

While there remains opportunities to spring a true upset this week, I don’t think I can bet on a QB making his second start against Mike Zimmer. Especially when Daniel Hunter and Everson Griffin are matched up on Garett Bolles and Elijah Wilkinson.I think the Broncos show flashes of real promise, but I’m taking the Vikings by 10. — Joe Rowles

Vikings 23, Broncos 13

As I told Adam on the MHR Radio Podcast, the Broncos defense has to force Cousins to beat them. If Dalvin Cook continues to go off, it’ll be a long day in the Twin Cities. I think Denver’s defense shows up in the red zone and holds the Vikings to field goals, but the offense isn’t able to do enough (for the reasons listed by Joe Rowles). — Ian St. Clair

Vikings 33, Broncos 17

The Broncos showed they could win with Brandon Allen at QB. However, Minnesota is one of the better teams they will play all year, and its defense will be happy to get a QB in his second career start after seeing some tape on him. It’s going to take a big effort to win this game on the road, and I just don’t think that Denver’s offense can hold up, or that Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman will be able to control the game in a meaningful way. — Adam Malnati

Vikings 26, Broncos 13

If Denver is going to continue their momentum coming out of the bye week, they’re going to have to do it on the arm of Brandon Allen. We saw Dallas in their contest against Minnesota last week make the mistake of stubbornly trying to force the run against a solid Vikings front 7, while Dak Prescott was shredding the secondary. The Broncos need to lean on Allen and the passing game, continue their trend from last week of play action passing on first down to exploit a beatable secondary.

Defensively, they’ll need to suffocate the big plays that Minnesota thrives off of, and force Kirk Cousins to win by deciphering coverages and beating the rush, which he has struggled to do at times against top defenses.That’s a lot of “ifs” that need to go right, and on the road in a hostile environment with a QB making his second start, I think Denver loses this one. — Jeff Essary

Give us your Broncos-Vikings score predictions in the comments section below.