The Denver Broncos have some serious issues on offense and while those issues were somewhat evident even during the winning streak, they were completely exposed by the Minnesota Vikings for all to see. All night long, the Broncos offense came up pathetically short in just about every situation or down and distance. In the last three games, the Broncos have an incredible 12 turnovers. The Broncos offense has only turned that into 32 points.
However, all of that ended up not mattering as Russell Wilson and the Broncos offense put it all together in the final two minutes of the game. Samaje Perine kept it all going with several chain-moving catches out of the backfield, but it was Courtland Sutton who stole the show. He had a massive fourth down reception early on that drive and then came up with the game-changing touchdown catch to put Denver up for the first time since the first quarter of the game.
Despite the frustrations, the Broncos did just enough to come out on top for a fourth-straight win and are now firmly in the AFC playoff picture with seven games left to go.
What. A. Finish.
Broncos vs. Vikings final score
With their first offensive possession, the Vikings had trouble securing the football. Dobbs muffed the first snap but was able to recover to hand the ball off, but two plays later on third and one Dobbs had the ball jarred loose by Baron Browning and Kareem Jackson with Ja’Quan McMillian recovering to setup Denver with excellent field position.
The Broncos offense did get a first down, but stalled from there. Wil Lutz would give Denver an early first quarter lead with a 31-yard field goal.
However, the Broncos run defense began to be exposed by the Vikings to close out the first quarter. They would pile up 72 rushing yards in the first quarter and were knocking on the door to end the first quarter inside the give yard line.
Broncos 3, Vikings 0. Full first quarter recap.
On the very first play of the second quarter, Josh Dobbs rolled out and shook off a would be sack to fire in a touchdown pass to put the Vikings up 10-3 over the Broncos.
Denver was able to answer the Vikings touchdown drive with some great throws from Russell Wilson to both Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, like this 33-yarder to Sutton.
Sutton with the great catch to extend the drive.— Let's Talk Broncos Podcast (@TheLTBPodcast) November 20, 2023
Drive ends with a field goal from Lutz.⬇️ pic.twitter.com/oRCRjaM8C1
That drive would and in a field goal, but Denver would get the ball back at their own 20-yard line and Wilson would then begin focusing on tight end Adam Trautman for back-to-back catches to get the Broncos into field goal range again just before halftime. Going into the locker room down 10-9 was quite a bit better than down 10-3.
Vikings 10, Broncos 9. Full second quarter recap.
The Broncos came out in the second half and immediately went three-and-out, while the Vikings continued to gash the Broncos run defense and capped their opening second half drive with a Josh Dobbs touchdown run up the middle of the field to go up by eight points.
There is no stopping JOSH DOBBS❕❕ pic.twitter.com/Wufx3ukiIf— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) November 20, 2023
Denver’s response to that touchdown drive was, you guessed it, another three-and-out by the offense. It was from there that the Vikings were looking to put the Broncos out of their misery. However, the one thing Denver’s defense has been getting a lot of lately has been turnovers and got a fumble with the Vikings in field goal range.
Finally getting a first down in the second half, Javonte Williams took an outside handoff for a 15-yard gain to start the Broncos next drive. A swing pass to Jerry Jeudy on the next play gained another 19-yards into Vikings territory to the 32-yard line. The Broncos would get another first down before the end of the third quarter to threaten.
Vikings 17, Broncos 9. Full third quarter recap.
Denver was threatening and had converted on a third and one, but Lil’Jordan Humphrey had failed to report and the Broncos were hit with an illegal formation. Garett Bolles then gave up a sack on third and six to end what looked like a promising drive. Wil Lutz would make the score 17-12.
Over the last three games, the Broncos had 11 turnovers but had generated just 29 points off turnovers. Not great complementary football by the offense even during that winning streak. That extended to 12 turnovers with another Ja’Quan McMillian interception and this time the Broncos offense ended up with fantastic field position at the nine yard line.
Ja'Quan McMillion with a game changing INTERCEPTIONpic.twitter.com/o0sT9yBx6I— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 20, 2023
The Broncos offense would torpedo their chances for a touchdown with a face mask penalty, but even then it came down to a near Jerry Jeudy catch in the end zone to bring out the field goal unit to make it a two-point game.
After forcing a three-and-out on the Vikings, the Broncos looked on the verge of getting a chance to get the lead back. However, the Vikings ran a fake punt for a 31-yard gain to give their offense another chance to put up some points. The Broncos defense looked like they were about to get off the field forcing the Vikings into a 3rd and 20, but they inexplicably gave up the first down. Despite winning a challenge on the spot to force a fourth and inches, the Vikings still converted anyway.
They would add another field goal and force the Broncos offense to do something they hadn’t done all day: score a touchdown. The two-minute Russell Wilson came alive from there and the drive was sparked by this fourth down catch by Courtland Sutton.
Three straight passes to Samaje Perine got the Broncos down to the 22-yard line with just over a minute to go. On a third down and four, Wilson again went back to the Samaje Perine well for a first down to the Vikings 15-yard line. On the very next play, Wilson threw it up to the back of the end zone to Courtland Sutton for the touchdown to retake the lead with a minute left in the game. After a failed two-point conversion, the Broncos clung to a one point lead.
Broncos 21, Vikings 20.
The Broncos defense, smelling a win, went ferocious against Dobbs and the Vikings offense to secure the Broncos fourth-straight win and they are officially BACK to .500 on the season!
How would you grade the Broncos performance against the Vikings in Week 11?