Coming off the bye week, the Broncos will head to Minnesota to take on the Vikings as heavy underdogs. To preview that game we’ll answer: Can the Broncos win? What are the keys to a Broncos victory? Who will be the MVP of the game?
What’s the key to the game?
Rich Kurtzman (@RichKurtzman): The Broncos defense has a solid chance of stopping the Vikings’ O, so the offense must play aggressively. They were aggressive in the first half against the Browns but let off the gas. This week, taking shots all game long will decide Denver’s fate.
Aniello Piro (@MediaByAP): The key to the game will be to score points. It’s basic, but the Vikings offense will be bringing the heat at home, and Denver will need to keep pace. This will be Brandon Allen’s second career start, so it will be interesting to see if he can follow-up on his debut.
Zach Segars (@Zach_Segars): Turnovers will determine this game for the Broncos. The Vikings have a better roster across the board and the Broncos also have Allen starting, so they’ll need some game-changing plays from their defense. Denver is also undefeated this season in games where they’ve forced multiple turnovers.
What/Who do the Broncos have to stop?
Rich Kurtzman: Denver’s defense has been hot in terms of stopping the run lately; slowing down Dalvin Cook is crucial.
Aniello Piro: The Broncos will need to stop Cook to put the ball in the hands of Kirk Cousins. The Vikings have managed to establish the run the season, which allows the passing game to open up. The Broncos’ biggest strength is their secondary so forcing Minnesota to throw into the teeth of the defense is a solid gameplan.
Zach Segars: Stefon Diggs has been a serious thorn in the side of the Vikings’ opponents since the month of October. Over the past seven games, Diggs has gone over 100 yards four times, and over the past five games, he’s gone over 140 yards three times. If Chris Harris can shut Diggs down, the Broncos can quickly make the Vikings one-dimensional with Thielen out as well.
Which Bronco gets the game ball?
Rich Kurtzman: Von Miller. He enjoys his best game of the year with two sacks and multiple run stops of Cook.
Aniello Piro: I think Phillip Lindsay gets the game ball. Lindsay has been the one consistent aspect of the Broncos offense this season. Considering the fact that the Broncos will be starting a rookie quarterback Lindsay will likely see a lot of action. Lindsay’s impact will allow the Broncos to control the game to an extent on offense.
Zach Segars: Alexander Johnson. The most dangerous part of Minnesota’s offense has arguably been the screen game with Cook. Cook would be on pace to have the most yards from scrimmage since Adrian Peterson’s MVP season if not for Christian McCaffery having an even better season and it’ll be Johnson’s responsibility to limit him Sunday.
Rich Kurtzman: It’ll be close (if everything goes right for Denver) and Brandon McManus wins it at the buzzer. Broncos win 24-23.
Aniello Piro: The Broncos will come up short, but make it a competitive game. Vikings win 23-15.
Zach Segars: The Broncos defense will keep it close and low-scoring but Mike Zimmer’s defense will give Allen fits and force at least one interception. Vikings win 19-12.