Denver Broncos fluster the Minnesota Vikings in preseason win

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos
Aug 27, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos running back Mike Boone (26) reacts following a turnover in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos concluded the NFL preseason with a 23-13 victory against the visiting Minnesota Vikings.

With the preseason wrapping up, did Brett Rypien secure the backup quarterback job or did Josh Johnson make a stronger case?

Denver Broncos backup quarterback battle

Brett Rypien got the start for the Broncos offense against the Minnesota Vikings.

Rypien led an impressive 13-play 84-yard drive for the Denver offense that resulted in an interception after a Vikings defender intercepted a pass after the ball was tipped into the air.

The fourth-year quarterback would lead a nine-play 59-yard drive on his second series that would end with Brandon McManus booting it in from 50 yards.

The Broncos offense led by Rypien on his third drive of the game found the endzone on a 5-play 70-yard drive that took 1:53 off the clock.

Rypien connected with Seth Williams on that drive for a 45-yard pass and reception to put them at midfield.

Rookie wide receiver Montrell Washington would then score on an end-around play from 11 yards out.

Rypien’s night concluded with Denver taking a 17-10 halftime lead. He’d finish 14-21 passing for 121 yards and one interception.

Josh Johnson’s claim for the backup job

Josh Johnson started the second half on offense under center.

Newly acquired running back Devine Ozigbo had several impact plays on that drive including a 26-yard run through the heart of the Vikings defense.

His first drive resulted in a 6-play 48-yard drive that resulted in a punt from Sam Martin.

The eight-year veteran received another shot on his second series with the drive resulting in a 7-play 35-yard drive.

Johnson’s third offensive series of the night came in the fourth quarter, resulting in a 3-play 9-yard drive that resulted in a Sam Martin 45-yard punt that yielded a 21-yard return.

With 6:38 remaining in the fourth quarter, Johnson would receive another opportunity to command the offense.

The veteran quarterback would find Jalen Virgil on his fourth drive for a 30-yard catch and run that moved the offense past midfield.

A roughing the passer penalty moved Johnson and the Denver offense up 15 yards to the Vikings 27-yard line.

Brandon McManus would cap off the 11-play 74-yard drive with a 40-yard field goal that gave Denver a 20-13 lead with three minutes remaining.

After the Broncos defense forced a turnover on downs, Johnson saw his fifth drive of the evening.

Johnson would finish the evening 11-14 passing for 107 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions thrown.

The Broncos coaching staff will now determine who backs up Russell Wilson this season.

Denver Broncos young players step up with various impact plays

The Broncos defense had a better first-half showing this week in comparison to last week against the Buffalo Bills.

Denver’s defense held firm in the first half, allowing 5.8 yards per play and 191 total yards of offense.

The run defense by the second team defensive unit still needs more consistency after allowing 80 yards on the ground in the first half.

The defensive play of the half came from McTelvin Agim and Baron Browning who combined on a sack on Sean Mannion, forcing a fumble that Browning picked up and ran into the endzone for a touchdown.

Agim had a much-needed, impressive game for the Broncos accounting for two tackles, 1 sack, and two passes deflected at the line of scrimmage.

In a game where many young players were auditioning for a spot on the active roster.

Jonathon Cooper, one of the players vying for a spot on the 53-man roster came up with a sack in the final moments of the third quarter.

Despite dealing with finger surgery for a majority of the preseason, Cooper’s high motor was on display against the Vikings and will make things interesting for George Paton, the coaching staff, and the personnel department to decide ahead of cutting down the roster.

Rookie safety Delarrin Turner-Yell made a case for the Broncos fifth potential safety spot on the active roster.

The rookie out of Oklahoma has been competing with J.R. Reed throughout training camp and preseason.

Against the Vikings, Turner-Yell flashed against the run, coming up with several booming hits.

A key moment for the Broncos rookie came in the fourth quarter, sacking Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond for a 9-yard loss on fourth down.

Second-round rookie draft pick Nik Bonitto broke out on the evening in the fourth quarter with back-to-back sacks on Kellen Mond that helped seal the win for Denver.

Denver Broncos News and Notes:

Broncos wide receiver Brandon Johnson left the game in the first quarter with an ankle injury and was ruled out.

Brandon McManus kicked a 50-yard field goal in the Broncos win.

McManus went 7-for-7 in the preseason including going 3-for-3 from 50 yards.

In the ongoing punter competition, Corliss Waitman and Sam Martin made their case to the Broncos’ coaching staff.

Against the Vikings, Waitman punted two times for an average of 40.5 yards including one pinned inside the 20-yard line.

Martin on the other hand punted twice for an average of 47.5 yards.

The Broncos offensive rushing attack saw its best output of the preseason with Mike Boone, JaQuan Hardy, and Devine Ozigbo rushing for 148 yards combined.

Denver ends the preseason with a 2-1 record.

The Denver Broncos will be forced to trim their roster from 80 players to 53 by 4PM ET Tuesday Aug. 30.

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