Denver sacked Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater seven times, but didn’t force a takeaway until T.J. Ward’s blitz with 37 seconds left jarred the football loose, allowing Von Miller to recover near midfield to clinch the game.
“We didn’t get this win, but if we keep fighting like that we’ll get a lot of wins on the road”.
The 23-20 win over the Vikings on Sunday followed that script to a tee. So will Atlanta, Arizona and Green Bay during the second half of the schedule, given the track those teams are on.
As has been the case this season, the defense for the Broncos was stifling and aggressive. Every game has featured a forced turnover in the last four minutes with the Broncos tied or up by less than a touchdown.
The second interception led to Minnesota’s tying field goal with 5:16 left. On the Broncos’ game-winning drive, Manning looked Newman’s way on three consecutive plays, ending in two completions for a combined 28 yards and an overthrow to Sanders. Manning improved to 4-0 for an NFL-record seventh time. They want to do good. I think the teams that we’ve played, three out of the four were playoff teams previous year. Throw in the seven sacks, as well as two scrambles by Bridgewater, and that’s 50 pass plays, compared to 19 designed run plays (including a QB sneak).
-RUSHING OFFENSE: D-plus. Yeah, Peterson scored on a 48-yard burst on fourth-and-inches to make it a 20-17 game late in the fourth quarter. Harris was also flagged for an illegal formation that negated a 1st-and-goal, forcing the Broncos to settle for a field goal. His 72-yard score was the longest touchdown run for the Broncos since 2006. A member of the Super Bowl XLVI Champion Giants, said he’s encouraged about the Vikings (2-2) after the first quarter of regular season games.
The Vikings didn’t look to force the issue against Peyton Manning. Bridgewater wasn’t about to point fingers.
“I thought Teddy did a good job of getting the ball out, but there was a couple of times where we weren’t able to adjust the protection because of a few of the movement things that we had going on”, Zimmer said. “We can’t let this be the definition of us, going on a downslope”.
Image (below): This play is designed for Kendricks (54) to run a stunt behind Robison, overloading the left side of the line. But it held up well enough to win.
Denver’s top-ranked defense limited Adrian Peterson to 81 yards on 16 carries – when Peterson was the MVP in 2012, his lowest output was 86 yards against the Texans and Wade Phillips, now Denver’s defensive coordinator.
But he still likes his team, and sees potential as to what it can be.
“Put that on me”, Peterson said. “[Anderson] got exhausted of [people] telling us we can’t run the ball”. Despite the absence of Ty Sambrailo, the Broncos had their best day in pass protection so far this season, and Manning was hit just three times. He has caught a pass in 107 straight games, longest streak in the league for a tight end. “He’s young. When I came in (with Pittsburgh in 2009), I was playing as a young guy, but I had one assignment: Beat them deep”. (We) just have to continue to just execute our offense.