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Instant Reaction: Broncos stun Vikings in final drive on Sunday Night Football

The Denver Broncos defeated the Minnesota Vikings with a touchdown on their final drive of the game. They are now 5-5 on the season.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t pretty, but the Denver Broncos escaped with a victory after a game-winning drive at the end of the fourth quarter to defeat the Minnesota Vikings 21-20.

How about that, Broncos Country!?

With their thrilling victory, Denver has jumped to 5-5 on the season and is in the middle of it all in the wild AFC playoff race. Here are some instant reactions from tonight’s game.

Despite their final drive, the Broncos offense was a significant problem.

When it mattered most, the Broncos offense came through. There is no denying that. But for most of the game, they struggled to get the job done. I’m not exactly sure how many three-and-outs the Broncos have had this season, but they had way too many again tonight. I’d imagine the total over the course of the season would be one of the most in the entire National Football League.

The offense was plagued with multiple three-and-outs and continued failures in the redzone that adversely impacted their efficacy on the field. Time after time, each and every game, the Broncos offense can’t ever seem to find a rhythm. They had no rushing attack tonight and subsequently no play action passing game. Sure, they came away with the W—but eventually Sean Payton, Russell Wilson and Co. will have to figure it out.

Vikings run wild and all over Broncos defense.

Vance Joseph’s defense has forced turnovers at an extremely high rate. They notched three more tonight against the Vikings. Unfortunately, one constant struggle throughout the year has been the team’s run defense. It’s easily the weakness on that side of the ball. Alas, that was evident again tonight.

Without question, Denver got absolutely throttled in the trenches. That might be an understatement. Minnesota’s offensive line paving the way for success from the start of the game. The Vikings dominating the line of scrimmage and ran the ball at-will against the Broncos defense. Overall, the Vikings notched 175 total yards on the ground.

I thought Mike Purcell and Jonathan Harris struggled mightily along the defensive line. Alex Singleton also had a down night and was often out of position and freelancing far too often. There were also far too many missed tackles. You know you are in for a long game when you are making tackles seven yards down the field every single drive.

We don’t know where the Broncos will wind up picking in the 2024 NFL Draft, but spending an early pick on upgrading their defensive trenches seems like a sound move to make. Heck, I’d be interested in seeing them use at least two selections upgrading their defensive front seven.

Wil Lutz was clutch in the Broncos win.

With the offense failing to get the job done most of the game, Wil Lutz made the most of his opportunities and put the only points on the board for Denver. He notched three field goals in the first half, including a 52-yard conversion at the end of the first half. He got two more in the second half and converted all five of his attempts on Sunday Night Football.

Next up, the Cleveland Browns!

The Broncos are now on a four-game winning streak and have a huge game at home against the Cleveland Browns next weekend. The Browns have a tough defense and it should be a great matchup, but can you imagine how big a victory would be for Denver’s playoff chances? It means everything. Let’s get pumped to see the Broncos take care of business at home and deliver some more magic!