Week 11 SNF Recap

Written by: William Petersen

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Two of the NFL’s hottest teams clashed in the Mile High City Sunday night as the Minnesota Vikings came in with a five game win streak, while the Denver Broncos looked to extend their three game win streak as well. This game started with a fumble from the Vikings on their opening drive to give the Broncos ideal field position. The trend for the Broncos offense all night was the inability to move the chains on second down, which resulted in Denver ending the game 3/15 on third down conversions. Even with their inability to convert on third down in the first half, going 0/5, the Broncos managed to limit Josh Dobbs’s momentum from the previous two weeks by going into halftime down 10-9. Dobbs continues to be the revitalizing catalyst that this Vikings team has been searching for since the injury to Justin Jefferson and Kirk Cousins. Dobbs finished 20/32 for 221 yards, two total touchdowns, and an interception. Dobbs continued to play at a high level but was under pressure all night, being sacked twice and hit 10 times. This constant pressure from Denver’s front four caused Dobbs to make rash decisions which ultimately led to a late stop from the Broncos’ defense to set up the game winning drive for Russell Wilson and a 21-20 Broncos win, their second straight win in prime time.

After going 2-0 in his first two starts since being traded at the deadline from the Arizona Cardinals, Josh Dobbs finally records his first loss as a Viking. Dobbs helped aid the Vikings to a five-game win streak that will now end due to a tenacious Denver pass rush that caused Dobbs to feel pressure all game, creating a turnover on Minnesota’s first drive. This fumble on their opening drive is now their fifth on the season which leads the NFL. Even though they had a bad start,  Dobbs has been able to get the most out of the teammates around him as Alexander Mattison has struggled all season and finally had a 75 plus yard rushing game after carrying the rock 18 times for 81 yards. Minnesota’s offensive line allowed for the Vikings to rush for 175 yards but were not able to give Dobbs enough time late in the game to salt away Denver’s timeouts and chances of a comeback. Minnesota gave the ball back to Russell Wilson with less than two minutes, giving Wilson the chance to drive 10 plays for 75 yards and a game winning touchdown to bring the Vikings back to 6-5 on the season. Minnesota will continue to scheme their offense around Josh Dobbs who has destroyed all expectations and is a major reason why this team still has playoff hopes. The Vikings will host their division rivals the Chicago Bears next week as they look to bounce back and gain some defensive confidence against a shaky Justin Fields and Bears offense.

Russell Wilson continues his vintage run of form after finishing 27/35 for 259 yards and the only TD of the game after completing a 15 yard back endzone fade to Courtland Sutton. This is now the second straight week Sutton has had beautiful toe tap touchdown catches and continues to be a safety valve for Wilson, 4 receptions for 66 yards and the TD. Denver had a hard time running the football early which led to Denver having a horrendous success rate on third down this game. Thankfully for the Broncos’ defense and Wilson’s game management, the Broncos are now on a four-game win streak and sit at .500 after starting the season 0-3. Denver has now beaten three good football teams in a row, but I have a hard time believing they will make the playoffs as they can really only lose two more, maybe three games if they want a chance of getting a wildcard slot. Denver also needs to find a way to be more efficient on third down, especially next week as they welcome the Cleveland Browns, a team with one of the best pass rushing defenses in the NFL. If the Denver defense can continue to get to the quarterback like they have the past three weeks, and Wilson and company can convert on at least 40 percent of third downs, the Broncos could have a record over .500 for the first time this season. I also believe Russell Wilson should be in the Comeback Player of the Year conversation due to his touchdown to interception ratio being the best in the league, 19 touchdowns to 4 interceptions.