The Minnesota Vikings came into Denver after winning 2 in a row at home after getting embarrassed on Monday night football in San Francisco in Week 1. Denver comes into the game undefeated and boasting the number 1 defense.
A road game on national TV and the Vikings are playing in the high altitude and comes in as a touchdown underdog. The defense is facing a future Hall of Fame quarterback so how would a Mike Zimmer team fare?
The way the first drive went by Denver was concerning but the bend but not break settled down and hold the Broncos to a Field Goal. Win goes to the Vikings defense!!!
The Vikings put a decent drive together but stalls and puts into the hands of struggling Blair Walsh’ foot and the kick was up and there it goes wide left. Oh no, can the Broncos cash in on a possible momentum changer?
The answer was a resounding yes, as Broncos running back, Hillman takes the ball wide left and there he goes 72 yards for a touchdown. Oh boy that’s all we need as the announcers had been talking how much the Broncos running game had been struggling. The Broncos up 10-0 at home, so how would the young Vikings react to a 10 point deficit?
The pounding Teddy Bridgewater took over and over I really had more respect than I already had. The Broncos defense at times absolutely made the Vikings makeshift Offensive Line look silly.
The first half even though the Vikes were down 10 I could not help be impressed by the Vikings defensive effort. Yes, Manning had his share of completions but the young defense came to play.
Vikings linebacker, Anthony Barr made the play of the half for the defense for an absolutely beautiful interception which the offense got 3 out of and we have a game.
Denver gets a field goal to go back up 10 but the no quit Vikings come back on a much needed drive with veteran receiver, Mike Wallace coming through with a big catch and then the touchdown. We have a game at halftime as we are only down 3.
The second half had Denver drive the length of the field and the Vikings made a huge stop down on the goal line setting up 4th and short. Does Denver go for 3 or do they risk it and try for 6 knowing if they fall short the Vikings would really have the momentum?
Denver Coach Kubiak rolls the dice successfully as Manning finds a wide open tight end for an easy 6. Denver goes up by 10 again. Can Minnesota keep coming back?
Fourth quarter begins with the Vikes down by 10 so can this team find the energy to make a game of it? The team answers first with a much needed field goal to cut it to 7. We have a game and then the Vikings drive again with just over 10 minutes left in the game and Minnesota is in Denver territory faced with a 4th and short.
Do we go for it or play the field position game? The Vikings offense got a huge spark as Adrian takes the handoff deep in the eye and behind two huge blocks from center, Joe Berger and left guard; Brandon Fusco Peterson hits the huge whole and is gone for 6. We have a tie game at 20.
Denver does what a good playoff contending team does and drives the ball but ends up only with 3 leaving the game in doubt.
I will say Xavier Rhodes had a tough guy to defend all game in Damarius Thomas and Rhodes had a few flags thrown against him but on this drive Rhodes made a touchdown saving knockdown.
I love this team for many reason sand one of them is plays like this. Rhodes had a tough game but he never stopped competing and it paid off.
Yes Denver did get a field goal but it could easily have been a touchdown. The Vikings had a chance to drive and were driving but the way the drive ended typified the day for the Vikings offensive line all day as the Broncos defense got to Teddy and stripped him.
In years past I would have been totally bummed out way more than I was today. The Broncos defense created havoc all day for the Vikings offensive line which honestly I kind of expected.
I have so much respect for Teddy as he took a pounding all day but was resilient and gave the Vikings a chance to win on the road.
I have so many players I loved to watch on Sunday. How about the play of rookie wide receiver, Stefan Diggs along with Adam Thielen who made his first NFL start? The 2 combined for 12 catches with each hauling in 6. Diggs had 6 for 87 yards and Thielen had 6 catches for 70 yards.
Veteran receiver, Mike Wallace had 8 catches for 83 yards including a touchdown. Mike seemed to really make the clutch catches when the team needed him.
The offensive line took a beating but I did see one block from tight end, Rhett Ellison crushed Broncos Linebacker, Von Miller. I do not know if I have ever seen anyone destroy Miller like that by any NFL team.
One player that may have gone unnoticed was punter; Jeff Locke who I thought really had a very nice punting performance.
The defense I can’t give the defense enough credit which may sound strange after a loss. I absolutely love the game played by 3 in particular and they were Safety, Harrison Smith along with Linebacker, Anthony Barr and defensive tackle, Linval Joseph.
Every fan has thoughts after a tough loss but today’s game I will stay positive. The team never quit and the defense picked off Manning twice along with holding him just under 220 yards at home. How many teams can say that?
I love my team and now a bye week followed by a home game with the Kansas City Chiefs coming to TCF Bank Stadium.
Have a great week everyone and thanks for reading