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10 winners, 3 losers from the Broncos loss to the Vikings

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After a fabulous first half, the Broncos saw a 20-point lead disappear to lose another game in heartbreaking fashion.

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At least the first half was fun.

Is it possible to forget the second half?

Unfortunately for the Denver Broncos, that’s not how the cookie crumbles. Instead of a huge upset over the Minnesota Vikings, the Broncos lost their fourth game of the season in heartbreaking fashion as the clock expired, this time 27-23. Denver falls to 3-7, and, in the process, leaves Broncos Country and the NFL to wonder “what if?”

Per the usual, I’m bound to forget someone, so please mention them in the comments.

Winners

Courtland Sutton

Sutton is a special player, and anytime he touches the ball, good things happen. It would have been nice to see him get at least one target at the end of the game, even if he was doubled. Give Sutton the chance to make a play. For the game, he finished with five catches for 113 yards. He also had two carries for 10 yards and one pass for 38 yards.

Tim Patrick

In his first game since coming off injured reserve, Patrick flashed potential as Denver’s No. 2 receiver. The hope for Patrick and the Broncos is he’s able to build off of this. Patrick finished with four catches for 77 yards.

Phillip Lindsay

I love the heart and passion Denver’s running back plays with. And I love to watch him with the ball in his hands. Lindsay led the Broncos with 16 carries for 67 yards. He also had two catches for 8 yards.

Royce Freeman

Freeman had himself a strong game as well. He finished with 31 yards on eight carries and one catch for 14 yards. As team, the Broncos finished with 124 yards on 33 carries.

Andy Janovich

You know you make an impact when you touch the ball twice and yet you still make the list. Denver’s fullback only had one carry for one yard but it was for a touchdown. He also had one catch for 3 yards. It also seemed the game flipped after Janovich left with an elbow injury.

Brandon Allen

I loved the poise Allen played with, especially in a tough environment. He only made one poor decision on the interception, and I would have preferred a little more urgency after his fourth-down run. But Allen played relatively well.

Shelby Harris

What a game for the big man. The Broncos defensive tackle had a sack hat trick, five tackles, two tackles for loss, and three quarterback hits. Harris also played a part in holding Dalvin Cook to 26 yards rushing on 11 carries.

Mike Purcell

Another factor in that was Purcell. He finished with five tackles and one tackle for loss.

Todd Davis

When you hold one of the best running backs in the NFL in check, you make the list. Davis led Denver with 13 tackles.

Alexander Johnson

Ditto for the “dino,” who had four tackles and one fumble recovery. As with Sutton, I love the way AJ plays the game.

Losers

Brandon McManus

Right before the snap of his 43-yard field goal, I told my wife, “This is where he typically misses.” Right on cue he missed, so I’ll take some of the blame for this. Still, McManus has to make that field goal.

Rich Scangarello

Can we take the Noah Fant runs and toss them in the garbage? Forever? For as good as the play calling was in the first half, it was far worse in the second.

The Broncos

When you blow a 20-point lead in the second half, the whole team goes on this list. As Warren Sharp pointed out, teams were 0-99 the last five years when trailing by 20 or more at halftime, until the Vikings won on Sunday. Prior to Sunday, only 2 percent of teams (28 of 1399 in NFL history down 20 at half) had overcome such a halftime deficit. I’ll add that to the gag factor. As Courtney Cronin highlighted, per Elias: The Vikings are the first team in the last 40 seasons to score a touchdown on every second-half possession and win after trailing by 20 points at the half.

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