The Denver Broncos made it four wins in a row with a fourth-quarter comeback to take down the Minnesota Vikings, 21-20. An improbable victory and turnaround from a 1-5 record to force their way back into the playoff race at 5-5.
The Broncos did not play well to start the game, missing tackles, making mistakes, and struggling to convert on third down. However, Denver did just enough to win for the second week in a row.
As we sift through the aftermath, let's talk about three Broncos who were invaluable in the victory and some who struggled.
Stud: Courtland Sutton | WR
Sutton did not have a huge statistical outing, but he had a huge game-winning touchdown catch. He continues to be a touchdown machine, grabbing his eighth receiving score in dramatic fashion.
Sutton also had a magnificent one-handed grab to convert on fourth down and kept the drive alive while being interfered with by the defensive back. Sutton finished the game with four catches for 66 yards and made a large impact for the second week in a row.
Stud: Wil Lutz | K
The Broncos struggled to score touchdowns, but Lutz kept them in it by going 5-for-5 on field goals, including a 52-yarder. Those 15 points mattered and kept the Broncos within striking distance the entire game.
If not for Lutz, this would likely have been a loss. Scoring touchdowns must become more frequent if the Broncos are going to make noise down the stretch, but trading for Lutz has reaped benefits thus far.
Dud: Jaleel McLaughlin | RB
McLaughlin struggled to get anything going against the Vikings. He was not his usual elusive self, being stopped for minimal or negative yards on almost every touch. He caught five balls for 14 yards for a 2.8 yards per-reception average.
Considering that one catch went for nine yards, it's easy to see he had a tough night. McLaughlin added a single yard on one carry. Hopefully, he can bounce back next week and use his elusiveness to get yards after the catch.
Stud: Ja’Quan McMillian | CB
Another week and another star performance from McMillian. He's been outstanding in the secondary since taking over the nickel corner spot.
McMillian recovered the opening drive fumble by the Vikings and had an interception. With two takeaways on the night, he was the star of the defense. McMillian also added a pass breakup and two tackles.
Dud: Interior D-line
The Broncos' defensive line struggled most of the night. Poor tackling and getting pushed around by the Vikings’ offensive line led to a solid night on the ground for the opposing running backs.
The Broncos' D-line also seemed to chase Joshua Dobbs around all night without getting him to the ground. Fortunately, the Vikings could not stick to the run, and the fourth quarter looked significantly better for the unit.
Hopefully, Denver's D-line can bounce back and be stouter against the run going forward.
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