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Denver Broncos 33, Minnesota Vikings 6: Ugly afternoon for Minnesota’s backups

Yeah, it was as ugly as the score indicates

NFL: Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

For their preseason opener against the Denver Broncos, the Minnesota Vikings declared that more than 30 players, including all of their starters, would not play.

It showed.

The Vikings looked outmanned on both sides of the ball in the 2021 preseason opener, and the result was a 33-6 loss to the Broncos at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Broncos got the first points of the game courtesy of the Vikings’ offense, as Dakota Dozier was called for a holding penalty in the end zone for a safety (following a fourth-down stop by the Minnesota defense) to give the Vikings an early 2-0 lead.

On the next play following the free kick, the Broncos got into the end zone themselves as Drew Lock found K.J. Hamler for a big 80-yard score to increase their lead to 9-0 midway through the first quarter.

The Vikings got points on their next drive, courtesy of Greg Joseph. He put a 34-yard field goal attempt between the uprights to give the Vikings their first points and cut the Broncos’ lead to 9-3.

Denver followed that up with another touchdown pass, this one a four-yarder from Lock to Trinity Benson to increase the lead for the visiting team to 13 at 16-3.

The Denver defense then added even more points, as a pass from Jake Browning intended for Ihmir Smith-Marsette was intercepted by star rookie Patrick Surtain II and taken back 30 yards for a touchdown. That score came with 11:49 remaining in the second quarter and put the Broncos ahead by a score of 23-3.

The two teams then exchanged field goals, and the Broncos went into the locker room at halftime with a 26-6 lead after a pretty terrible first half for the home team.

Denver got the ball coming out of the locker room at halftime, and it was more of the same as a huge kickoff return put them into Minnesota territory to start the drive. Bridgewater then marched his offense down the field and found Benson for his second touchdown reception of the afternoon, another 4-yarder to make the score 33-6.

Minnesota had a chance at points on their first possession of the second half, but a pass from Mond to Whop Philyor on a 4th-and-goal play fell incomplete. It looked like it may have been a catch by Philyor never established possession, unfortunately. That was the end of the scoring for the afternoon.

I think we’ve learned that if the Vikings encounter a situation where they have to bench 30 or more players, including all of their starters, they’re in big trouble. Then again, we can probably say that about pretty much any NFL team. At this point all we can do is hope that next week will be better.

Both of these teams will take the field again next Saturday. Denver will stay closer to home as they travel to take on the Seattle Seahawks, while the Vikings will stay at U.S. Bank Stadium and play host to the Indianapolis Colts.

The Vikings (‘ backups) fall to the Denver Broncos in preseason action by a final score of . Thank you for joining us here for today’s game, and be sure to check out the Vikings Rewind postgame show coming your way LIVE shortly!