The Denver Broncos sent their team captains Russell Wilson, Mike McGlinchey, and Riley Dixon out for the opening coin toss. The Minnesota Vikings lost the opening coin toss and Denver elected to defer to the second half to bring out Josh Dobbs and the Vikings offense to start the game.
On the first snap of the game, Dobbs fumbled the snap but was able to secure possession and hand it off to the Alexander Mattison for a short gain. A short completion was followed by another defensive turnover by a Broncos defense that has been after that ball in recent weeks. Dobbs would have the ball knocked out of his hands by Baron Browning at the first down marker where Ja’Quan McMillian would recover at the Vikings 30-yard line.
The Broncos drive would go nowhere fast after getting a first down to bring out Wil Lutz to give Denver an early lead.
Broncos 3, Vikings 0.
After moving the sticks a few times out to midfield, the Broncos defense got after the Vikings. Dobbs threw a dangerous pass over the middle on third down that would have been intercepted by Justin Simmons, but Kareem Jackson jump to tip the ball away. Despite the missed turnover opportunity, Denver got the ball back anyway after Minnesota punted.
The Broncos would go a quick three and out after a Wilson pass to an open Courtland Sutton went high and out of his reach.
On the other side, the Vikings began chewing up yards on the ground. The Broncos gave up almost 200 yards rushing last week and closed out the first quarter on that same kind of pace in this game.
The Broncos gave up 192 rushing yards to the Bills last week.— Nick Kosmider (@NickKosmider) November 20, 2023
Vikings already at 45 yards on eight carries.
It didn’t take long for Minnesota to figure this one out and closed out the first quarter with a powerful wildcat formation to get inside the five yard line. The first quarter would end with the Vikings facing a third and one from the four.