8 Reactions to the Vikings’ Winning Streak Ending in Denver
The Minnesota Vikings rode into Denver on a five-game winning streak.
However, the Denver Broncos were also one of the hottest teams in the NFL with a three-game winning streak of their own. In the end, Denver was able to knock off the Vikings by a score of 21-20 and get back to .500 at 5-5. Here are 8 reactions in the aftermath of that game.
1. Turnovers, Turnovers, Turnovers
The Vikings played their first clean game of the year in Week 10 by not turning the ball over a single time. That was not the case on Sunday night. Josh Dobbs lost a fumble on the opening drive of the game, and Minnesota ended the night with three total turnovers. In a game where Minnesota dominated just about every facet, these turnovers proved to be their undoing.
2. The Best Rushing Game of the Year
For the first time this season, the Vikings were truly dominant in the running game. They totaled 175 rushing yards and averaged 4.9 yards per carry. Alexander Mattison broke off a few nice plays, and Ty Chandler continues to make things happen in a rotational role. Hopefully, this is a sign of good things to come.
3. Courtland Sutton With Another Dagger
A week ago, Courtland Sutton came up with a game-sealing touchdown against the Buffalo Bills with a nifty sliding catch at the edge of the end zone. This week, it was Sutton again coming down with the dagger by leaping over Mekhi Blackmon to pull down the TD to win this game.
4. A Career Night for Josh Oliver
Over the past few weeks, T.J. Hockenson has been dealing with a rib injury, and while it hasn’t hindered his production a ton, it would be nice to get others involved in the passing game. Josh Oliver did a great job of that on Sunday night, recording four receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown. It didn’t end in a win but still a great showing from the tight end.
5. Terrific Red Zone Defense Until the End
The Vikings began the night by giving up four red zone possessions to the Broncos, and they didn’t allow a single touchdown. Brian Flores and his defense were the main reasons why this game was as close as it was throughout. Then, the final possession of the game happened. Unfortunately, the defense just seemed gassed from all the effort they had to put in throughout the night, and they came up just short.
6. The Vikings Missed Justin Jefferson
It became very clear as the night wore on that the Vikings sorely missed Justin Jefferson in the lineup. Pat Surtain blanketed Jordan Addison throughout most of the night, holding the rookie to just three catches. T.J. Hockenson had a couple passes ripped out of his hands on the final possession. The Vikings needed another guy in there to give Dobbs a receiving option, but that player just wasn’t there for most of the night.
7. Anthony Barr’s Return
For the first time since 2021, Anthony Barr suited up in a Vikings uniform. The linebacker didn’t have a huge impact on this game, but he did make a few defensive appearances and recorded a solo tackle. Not a huge game, but it’s great to see him back in purple.
8. A Missed Opportunity
In the end, the Vikings missed a big opportunity in this game. Not only did they drop a game in the NFC North standings, but they had a chance to move up to the No. 6 seed in the conference after Seattle fell to the Rams. It’s not the end of the world by any means, but it makes the remaining games of the season more important.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.