Late TD, Turnovers Pull Rug from Feet

The Vikings took a lead on the first play of the second quarter and fended off the Broncos multiple times, but Denver’s 15-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Courtland Sutton with 1:03 remaining provided the decisive 21-20 margin with 1:03 remaining in the game.

Sutton high pointed the wobbly duck over rookie Mekhi Blackmon, who started in place of Akayleb Evans (knee). Blackmon slapped at Sutton’s arm to no avail.

The Vikings struggled to move the football for pretty much the first time all night as the Broncos increased their blitzes.

Denver forced an intentional grounding penalty against Joshua Dobbs on third-and-10 from the Minnesota 36-yard line, and a deep heave down the middle on the ensuing fourth-and-25 fell incomplete.

The Vikings had executed a solid road blueprint, out-rushing the Broncos 175 to 46 and possessing the football for 34:58, but the advantage in the run game faded once the seconds became sparse.

No longer in Seahawks colors, Wilson showed he still has some kind of anti-Viking venom late in games, but much of his damage during the final drive occurred on dump-off passes to running back Samaje Perine.

After Perine ran for 7 on third-and-10, Wilson converted a fourth-and-3 with a pass that Sutton one-handed despite pass interference by Ivan Pace, Jr.

Perine then added catches of 10 and 17 on each side of the 2-minute warning. Another pass to Perine gained 6 before Pace forced a fumble that trickled just out of bounds before Pace could collect the pigskin. He added another catch for 7 on third-and-4 a play before the touchdown.

It was the only touchdown for the Broncos on the night. Denver (5-5) won its fourth game in a row and snapped the five-game win streak by Minnesota (6-5) by winning the turnover battle 3-0.

Wilson nearly threw an interception at the end of the first half, but the ball bounced off Josh Metellus, and Denver kicked a 52-yard field goal on the following play as the first half expired to make it 10-9 Vikings at intermission.

The Broncos were just 2-for-12 on third downs.

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