The Denver Broncos moved back to .500 with an impressive comeback win late in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings. The win pushed them from last place in the AFC West all the way to second place and they are now firmly in the mix in the AFC playoff picture.
While the game was sloppy in many respects and the Broncos offense settled for five field goals before finally and decisively finding the end zone, the team showed resilience and determination to find a way to win a game against the hottest team in the NFL. This one felt real good and there were a few players who made all the difference last night.
Here are our game balls for that incredible finish on Sunday Night Football.
I don’t know if I’ve ever headlined with a kicker before, but Wil Lutz was the primary reason the Broncos even had a chance there at the end. He is 9/9 over the last two games in which the Broncos have won by 2 and by 1 point. Last night, Lutz hit on field goals from 31, 31, 52, 37, and 28 yards to keep Denver within striking distance late. He was money and deserves a game ball for this one. - Tim Lynch
Russell Wilson hasn’t been amazing by any stretch of the imagination. He may not be the quarterback that Broncos Country wants, but he’s the quarterback that this team needs. He’s playing game manager and protecting the ball. Then when the game is on the line, he gets to cook. Wilson once again led his team to a game winning touchdown drive to lift this team to 5-5. You may not like the stat line, but I sure do like how this quarterback’s play is impacting our record which is the only stat that matters. - Sadaraine
I’m so pleased to be giving out a game ball this week after another dramatic and narrow win, and particularly pleased to give mine to Ja’Quan McMillian. The 2nd year undrafted cornerback out of East Carolina was absolutely pivotal to beating Minnesota. On a night when the offense failed to get anything significant going for the first 57 minutes of the game, McMillian kicked things off with an incredibly smooth heads-up fumble recovery to end the Vikings’ first drive at their own 30.
And he followed it up with a pass defense, two tackles, and a sweet interception that killed Minnesota’s first drive of the 4th quarter, handing Wilson & company a 1st & goal at the Vikings’ 9 yard line. If he didn’t come down with both of those turnovers, the Broncos don’t win this game. McMillian is well on his way to establishing himself as the Broncos’ best UDFA cornerback since Chris Harris Jr. - Taylor Kothe
The fourth quarter was when Samaje Perine came alive for the Broncos. 5 of his seven catches came during the drive that culminated in the game winning TD. He had catches of 7, 10, 17, 6, and 7 yards. He lived in the middle of the field, and gave Russell Wilson a safety net that kept the drive moving. His final catch was a seven yarder that picked up a first down. The very next play was the Sutton TD to take the lead. Perine went from a non-factor throughout most of the game to one of the most important weapons on the field for his QB. Every catch in that drive was a key moment in the drive. It’s a gameball well deserved. - Adam Malnati
Two games, two unreal catches. Both of which helped his team get two huge wins. By the way, Sutton now has a touchdown catch in five straight games. Not only is Sutton one of the best receivers in the league, he’s a clutch playmaker. What a catch and moment for Sutton on Sunday night. It’s also clear the rapport he has with Wilson continues to blossom. - Ian St. Clair
Justin Simmons didn’t stuff the start sheet, but he did have two huge pass defenses on Hockensen on that final drive to keep the Vikings out of field goal range. He finished with four tackles (3 solo) and the pass defenses. He also would have had another interception if KJ hadn’t knocked it out of his hands. - Joe Mahoney
There were a lot of great defensive plays by individual defenders in that game, but the defense as a whole on the Vikings’ final drive was lights out and every man on it deserves a game ball. From blitzing Dobbs into making some key mistakes that backed up the offense, to covering so tight that no first downs were made and several incompletes were forced - the defense made sure the Broncos didn’t end the game in heartbreak after coming back with a go-ahead touchdown just moments before. And a shoutout to the defense on the Vikings’ second-to-last drive of the game where a fake punt on 4th-and-4 could have derailed all their momentum. But they hung tough and allowed only a field goal despite Minnesota getting deep inside the red zone. Vance Joseph's defense finished with just two sacks but 10 QB hits, two forced fumbles and two recoveries, plus one extremely timely interception. - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann