5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Denver Broncos — Week 11

(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) Stefon Diggs
(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) Stefon Diggs /
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(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Courtland Sutton
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Courtland Sutton /

Vikings will shut down Sutton

There haven’t been too many bright spots with the Broncos’ offense this season, but one of those has been the emergence of Courtland Sutton.

The 2018 second-round pick has ascended to the top receiver role in the Denver offense and after the recent trade of Emmanuel Sanders, it’s clear that the Broncos have high expectations for the young pass-catcher as they move forward.

But for as good as Sutton has been playing, there is a chance he could be held in check on Sunday afternoon, despite the struggles of Xavier Rhodes.

Rhodes’ play this season has been well documented as he hasn’t been the shutdown corner he was after earning All-Pro honors in 2017. However, those issues have risen to another level this season as he’s allowed the fourth-most receptions (43) in the NFL and teams are completing 86 percent of their passes (43-for-50) when throwing in Rhodes’ direction.

So why would there be cause for optimism? Because Rhodes has done better against bigger, slower receivers. Although Sutton has been great for the Broncos, his style of play suits what Rhodes wants to do in terms of getting into a boxing match at the line of scrimmage.

With a 4.54 second 40-yard dash time, Sutton was in the 37th percentile of receivers in the 2018 draft class, meaning that Rhodes shouldn’t have trouble keeping up.

Rhodes has been brutal this season, but he also hasn’t allowed too many big plays (allowing just 9.6 yards per reception). If he can keep Sutton in front of him and lure him into a physical game, he should have a solid afternoon.