Broncos Country will get a good chance to evaluate Vic Fangio and the coaching staff coming off the bye week.

Fangio will have his work cut out for him, though, with Brandon Allen entering his second start going up a Minnesota Vikings roster that is more talented than the Broncos at nearly every position.

How can “David conquer Goliath” in this road trip to Minnesota? Let’s take a look.

Establish the run

Brandon Allen pleasantly surprised everyone by turning in a solid performance against the Browns, but that doesn’t mean the Broncos can lean on him against the Vikings.

Mike Zimmer is as good as anyone in the league when it comes to disguising blitzes and coverages to baffle inexperienced quarterbacks. Add that to the duo of Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen bringing pressure off the edge, with Harrison Smith, Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks or all three coming in on the occasional blitz and things could get ugly quickly for Allen.

The Broncos have to lean on the running game of Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman to try to take as much pressure off the inexperienced quarterback as possible. Not only will it limit the Vikings’ stellar pass rush, but it can keep the Broncos in front of the sticks.

Whether Brandon Allen is consistently facing a 3rd-and-9 or a 3rd-and-4 on Sunday will be the most important factor in this game.

Defense must force turnovers, close game

The Broncos’ defense has been stellar outside of their ability to generate takeaways, something their offense could desperately use to provide a boost.

In games where Denver’s defense has forced multiple turnovers, the Broncos are undefeated at 2-0 this season, winning those games by a margin of 36-13, with seven of those 13 points allowed coming on special teams.

For the Broncos to stand a chance against one of the league’s most talented rosters in Minnesota, they’ll need a stand-out performance like that from their defense.

Kirk Cousins: Hot or not?

Kirk Cousins is one of the most bipolar quarterbacks in the league. For the first four games of the season, the offense was so lackluster star receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs were publically complaining, with the latter even making it clear he wanted to be traded.

Then, Cousins went a month-long tear that saw him named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Month before having his worst statistical game of the season against the mediocre Chiefs defense. The next week, against the Cowboys in primetime, Cousins went off and led the Vikings to a road win.

If Cousins’ hot streak continues, the Broncos are in for a rude awakening in Minnesota, but a down week opens the door for an upset.

The odds of Cousins looking cold are higher than average. Vic Fangio has had an extra week to prepare for this game and got to see Cousins twice last year, meaning he knows him fairly well. In those games, Fangio’s defense allowed just 15 points on average.

Denver faces the Vikings in Minnesota on Sunday with kickoff scheduled for 11 am MT.