The Vikings went three-and-out on their first offensive possession, and the Broncos managed to push all the way down to the Minnesota 4-yard line, where they faced a 4th-and-2. A pass from Drew Lock to Jerry Jeudy fell incomplete, and the Vikings’ defense held.
But, it didn’t matter, as on the ensuing drive Dakota Dozier got called for a holding penalty in the end zone, granting the Broncos a safety and giving them a 2-0 lead halfway through the first quarter.
The Broncos added to their lead on the next offensive play, as Lock found K.J. Hamler for a huge 80-yard touchdown pass, and the extra point from Brandon McManus quickly put the visiting team ahead by a score of 9-0.
The Vikings put together a lengthy drive on their next possession, but the drive stalled in the red zone and new kicker Greg Joseph put a 34-yard field goal home to give the Vikings their first points and cut the Denver lead to 9-3.
Denver then added more points, courtesy of another touchdown pass by Lock. He found Trinity Benson from four yards out, and the extra point made it 16-3 about two minutes into the second quarter.
The Broncos then added even more points at the expense of the Minnesota offense, as a pass from Jake Browning intended for Ihmir Smith-Marsette was intercepted by Patrick Surtain II and returned for a 30-yard score. Just like that, the Vikings were trailing 23-3 and we weren’t even halfway through the second quarter.
Kellen Mond took over at quarterback for Browning on the ensuing drive, and the offensive line didn’t really feel like protecting him either, resulting in a punt. The Broncos then switched quarterbacks as well, bringing in former Vikings signal caller Teddy Bridgewater to spell Lock. The Broncos added still more points, as McManus connected on a field goal from 34 yards out to extend the lead to 26-3.
Mond then marched the Vikings all the way down to the Denver 6-yard line, but the drive stalled again after a pass fell incomplete, and Joseph connected on another field goal, this one a 25-yarder to send it into halftime at 26-6.
Pretty ugly first half for the Vikings overall, as the score will attest. But, there’s still another half of football to be played and more evaluating to be done, so come on in and join us for the second half!
We’ll have the recap of this one up shortly after the game, and don’t forget to check out Vikings Rewind about 15-20 minutes after the game ends!