The preseason is over, ladies and gentlemen. . .and with the way the Minnesota Vikings’ second and third-string has looked for most of these preseason games, that can only be classed as a positive development.
The Vikings fell to 0-3 in the preseason, losing to the Denver Broncos by a score of 23-13 at Mile High Stadium on Saturday night.
The Broncos got the ball first and marched all the way down to the Minnesota 8-yard line, but they could not get any points on the board as Myles Dorn tipped a pass from Brett Rypien into the arms of Luiji Vilain for an interception to end the drive.
The Vikings’ only possession of the first quarter stalled in Denver territory and Ryan Wright’s punt pinned the Broncos inside the 10. Rypien got the Broncos into position for a 50-yard field goal attempt for Brandon McManus, who put the ball through the uprights to give the Broncos a 3-0 lead.
Minnesota’s ensuing drive was one of their best of the preseason, and pushed them all the way down to the Broncos’ 1-yard line where they faced a 4th-and-goal. The Vikings handed the ball to Bryant Koback, and after initially being ruled down short of the goal line, Kevin O’Connell challenged the call and it was reversed for a touchdown to give the purple a 7-3 lead midway through the second quarter.
Denver immediately responded to the Vikings’ touchdown, as they got into the end zone themselves on an 8-yard end-around from Montrell Washington to make the score 10-7 with about six minutes remaining in the half. After the teams exchanged punts, the Vikings got the ball back with less than a minute left in the half. . .and Sean Mannion had the ball knocked out of his hands by Barrett Browning on the first play from scrimmage. Browning then recovered the fumble and took it into the end zone to give the home team a 17-7 halftime lead.
Mannion and the Vikings did recover on their final drive of the first half, as they got Greg Joseph into position to attempt a 46-yard field goal. Joseph split the uprights, making the score 17-10 at halftime.
Kellen Mond started the second half at quarterback for the Vikings, and the teams exchanged punts to start the second half. The Vikings’ punt was impressive, as Ryan Wright launched a bomb that put the Broncos down at the 2-yard line.
The teams continued to exchange punts in a scoreless third quarter, but Mond eventually got the Vikings’ offense moving towards the end of the frame. Mond got sacked to end the drive, but the Vikings gave Joseph an opportunity from 58 yards out and he blasted it through to make it 17-13.
Mond led the Vikings on another long drive in the fourth quarter and got the team to a 4th-and-goal situation from the Denver 5-yard line, but Mond got sacked again to put an end to the drive. The Broncos then went down and extended their lead, with McManus connecting again from 40 yards out to make the score 20-13 with just over three minutes left in the contest.
After the field goal, Mond led the offense onto the field and proceeded to get sacked twice in three plays. A desperation pass fell incomplete for a turnover on downs, and the Broncos added another McManus field goal, a 31-yarder, for the final margin of 23-13.
That does it for the preseason for the Vikings, who went 0-3 in the games that don’t matter. We’ll be tracking everything the team is doing with the roster including the final cutdown to 53 that needs to be completed by 3:00 PM Central time on Tuesday.
The Vikings fall in their preseason finale to the Denver Broncos by a score of 23-13 at Mile High. Thanks to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s preseason action right here at The Daily Norseman!