The Broncos suffered yet another heartbreaking loss on Sunday when they blew a 20-0 halftime lead to the Minnesota Vikings. The game sends Denver to 3-7, making it the final nail in the coffin housing the Broncos’ playoff hopes.

The crushing defeat had plenty of positive and negative takeaways, as some players turned in season-best performances, and others had the worst game of their careers.

3 Up

Courtland Sutton

Okay, it’s official. Courtland Sutton is one of the league’s elite receivers.

He opened things up for the Broncos’ offense with an early deep pass that Sutton came away with despite being blanketed in coverage. Sutton then hurled a 38-yard pass to Tim Patrick on a reverse from Phillip Lindsay. Then in the second half, with the Broncos’ offense in desperate need of revival, Sutton hauled in yet another deep pass.

There is no way this game would have even come down to the fourth quarter if it weren’t for Sutton willing the team to 20 points in the first half.

Tim Patrick

Tim Patrick offered a tremendous boost to a Broncos’ receiving corps that was in desperate need of depth behind Sutton.

He was on the receiving end of Sutton’s terrific trick-play pass and came up with several other big conversions as well.

Adding another consistent, legitimate weapon in the passing game completely changed the Broncos offense. It, along with another strong performance from Fant, spread the defense out and allowed Sutton to have the game he did.

Patrick also came up with a massive fourth-down conversion that kept the Broncos’ final drive alive.

Shelby Harris

It was a rare day where Shelby Harris was easily the best Harris on Denver’s defense.

Harris played a huge part in disrupting the Vikings’ dominant run game led by Dalvin Cook. Cook was held to just 26 yards, easily his worst mark of the season, and the 3rd-ranked Vikings’ ground game held to a mere 37 yards and under two yards per carry.

Harris also recorded his second sack of the season and forced a fumble in the first half that allowed the Broncos to further bolster their lead.


Chris Harris Jr.

Chris Harris Jr. was without a doubt the weakest link for the Broncos on Sunday in Minnesota.

Harris was burned multiple times as star Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs put him in a clown suit consistently. For possibly the first time in his career, it became apparent that the opposing offense was making a point of targetting the woefully outmatched Harris.

Diggs beat him for what would’ve been the biggest play of the first half for Minnesota had it not been called back by an offensive holding penalty. Harris was then scorched in the second half for a 44-yard gain to set up the Vikings’ first touchdown, before being embarrassed again as Diggs scored the Vikings’ third touchdown on another big play.

Special Teams

The special teams continued to be a serious detriment to the team this week. On an early Vikings punt, several Broncos ran into Britton Colquitt, nearly giving Minnesota an automatic first down due to roughing the punter.

Then Brandon McManus missed another field goal, continuing what has been a tough season for the veteran kicker.

Making matters worse, Colby Wadman continued his ice-cold punting streak. Although his punting won’t make any headlines, he’s been a huge reason as to why Denver consistently lost the battle for field position against the Browns and Vikings.

Andy Janovich

Since returning from a torn pectoral suffered in the preseason, Andy Janovich has been a huge boost to the Broncos’ game.

That continued to be the case today as he paved lanes for Lindsay and Royce Freeman to scamper through with ease and even came up with a big score on the goalline.

Unfortunately, though, Janovich also suffered a gruesome dislocation to his elbow that will sideline him for the rest of the season. This does serious damage to the effectiveness of the Broncos’ ground game, which immediately became evident when one of Lindsay’s longest carries was called back thanks to a holding penalty drawn by Janovich’s replacement.