After a 1-5 start, the Broncos are one a hot streak, winning three in a row. Can they keep up the momentum? Stick here for live updates and analysis as Denver takes on the Vikings at Empower Field at Mile High.
Inactives (4:52 p.m.): Broncos rookie S JL Skinner is up for the first time this season with S P.J. Locke out.The rest of Denver’s inactives:
- OLB Ronnie Perkins
- ILB Ben Niemann
- C Alex Forsyth
- OLB Thomas Incoom
- DL Elijah Garcia
Hello from Empower Field (4:33 p.m.): The Broncos take on Minnesota tonight in prime time. Denver’s looking for its first four-game winning streak since 2016, while the Vikings are aiming for their sixth straight win. Remarkably, neither of these teams has lost in more than a month. Not only that, but if the Broncos win and get to 5-5 on the season, they’ll jump from last in the AFC West to second thanks to losses today by Las Vegas (now 5-6) against Miami and Los Angeles (4-6) at Green Bay. Big opportunity, then, for Sean Payton’s team. — Parker Gabriel
Scouting report (4 p.m.): Check out how the Broncos match up with the Vikings in Ryan McFadden’s scouting report.
Parker Gabriel, beat writer: Broncos 23, Vikings 21
Two weeks ago this matchup seemed primed to get flexed out of Sunday night. Now? Neither team has lost since Kansas City beat the Vikings on Oct. 8 and then Denver four days later. Sean Payton’s side has won three straight, has good vibes (vulnerabilities, too) and a home crowd that should be juiced for prime time. This team might just have figured out how to avoid what would be a real letdown.
Ryan McFadden, beat writer: Broncos 27, Vikings 24
I’m sticking with the Broncos for the second straight week because of their defense. They have managed to contain Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, so I’m confident defensive coordinator Vance Joseph will figure out how to slow down Joshua Dobbs. The Broncos will head into Thanksgiving week with a .500 record. Crazy, right?
Mark Kiszla, columnist: Vikings 24, Broncos 16
Hey, don’t get ticked at me for raining on the Orange & Blue Bandwagon. Blame that heartless dastard, Mr. Law of Averages. While the Denver D has made an amazing comeback from that 70-burger in Miami, Mr. Law of Averages tells us not to expect the Broncos to force four or five turnovers every week.
Sean Keeler, columnist: Vikings 21, Broncos 20
The Lazarus Bowl? The Risner Bowl? AFC New Money (Broncos) meets NFC New Money (Vikes) in a battle of two 0-3 teams left for dead on Columbus Day. Minnesota’s thrown only one interception in its last six games, while the Broncos have picked off eight passes over their last six. The Orange & Blue have the hottest secondary in the NFL right now, but can Denver win a game in which it doesn’t also don’t win big when it comes to the turnover margin?
Matt Schubert, sports editor: Broncos 20, Vikings 17
Minnesota doesn’t have the run game to expose the Broncos’ one glaring defensive weakness, and as solid as Joshua Dobbs has been over the past couple of weeks, there’s a reason he was available for a sixth-round pick. It’s been established over the past three games: Denver doesn’t need a good offense to win, just a competent one. As scary as this Minnesota defense is, Russell Wilson and Co. should do just enough to get to .500.
Broncos-Vikings NFL Week 11: Must-reads
How have the Broncos revamped a historically bad defense on the fly? Tough conversations, turnovers galore and the Justin Simmons effect.
A third straight win could hardly have been forecast even a month prior. Doing it on the strength of a defensive surge? Unthinkable.
How did it happen? How did a defense off to one of the worst starts in NFL history turn into a potential top-10 group? Why did it take so many weeks to make a series of moves that have panned out so well?
And does this group have the chops to take a four-game run and turn it into a real playoff chase? The next two weeks will tell a lot, but the Broncos defense has already turned its season around in a major way, Parker Gabriel reports. Read the full story.
Broncos prepare for Minnesota’s blitz-heavy defense: “It’s about being on the same page”
Broncos right tackle Mike McGlinchey is happy to face Minnesota at home on Sunday night, because communication will be essential against the Vikings’ pass rush.
Minnesota has the highest blitz percentage in the league (49%) under first-year defensive coordinator Brian Flores. And with the various looks the Vikings present, the Broncos will have their hands full trying to protect quarterback Russell Wilson.
Head coach Sean Payton said he and the team spent 48 hours studying Minnesota’s pass rush. He thinks Minnesota forces opponents’ hands with six- and seven-man blitzes, Ryan McFadden reports. Read the full story.
Broncos sense Sean Payton Way is starting to take hold. “You’re like, Holy (crap), it’s working”
Adam Trautman has seen this movie before.
The Broncos tight end started his career in New Orleans playing for Sean Payton. His rookie year in 2020, they went 12-4 and secured the NFC’s No. 2 seed.
Payton is an intense coach by nature. Start winning, his reputation goes, and there’s no sense of a lighten up. He only gets more demanding. Like several of his core coaching principles, this one comes from the years he spent with Bill Parcells, Parker Gabriel reports. Read the full story.
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