Vikings lose big to Broncos in Week 1 of the preseason

Jake Browning (Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports)
Jake Browning (Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Minnesota Vikings finally took the field for Week 1 of the NFL preseason against the Denver Broncos on Saturday.

Preseason has arrived for the Minnesota Vikings and their first contest was against the Denver Broncos, a team the purple and gold has been practicing with for the past few days and is familiar with.

The Vikings sat most of their starters while Denver did not. Watching Minnesota play their backups against the Broncos starters was hard to watch for a majority of the first half, but the game showed the home team at U.S. Bank Stadium wasn’t ready for action.

Denver had their way with the Vikings, winning the game by a final score of 6-33. Here is what happened during the game as broken down by quarter.

First Quarter

Minnesota got the ball to start the game and immediately drew a three-and-out. After punting the ball away to Denver, the Broncos were able to run the ball effectively and get into the red zone. The Broncos got called for holding on a scoring third down play and went for it on fourth down, failing on the attempt.

The Vikings got the ball deep in their own territory to start their drive and right guard Dakota Dozier got a call of holding in the end zone that resulted in a safety.

Down 0-2, Denver’s first-team offense had Drew Lock unleash an 80-yard bomb to K. J. Hamler for an easy score. Hamler got behind the defense and turned on the gas, making it look easy. The Broncos took the lead 0-9.

Browning and the Vikings finally put together a bit of a drive on their third try. Rose Jr. looked good at running back and K.J. Osborn looked as though he is ready for regular-season action. TE Zach Davidson couldn’t haul in an end zone toss, but Greg Joseph converted a 34-yard field goal to put the Vikings on the board.

Second Quarter

Denver expanded on their lead with a pass from Drew Lock to Trinity Benson for another fairly easy score

The next drive for Minnesota didn’t go well at all. Jake Browning’s pass to the sideline was read well by Patrick Surtain, who jumped the route and returned the interception for a pick-six to give the Broncos a 3-23 lead.

Kellen Mond came in the game and struggled to move the ball. The Vikings moved backward thanks to a sack and penalty, punting on a fourth and 23.

The crowd erupted when Teddy Bridgewater entered the game for Denver. He completed some short passes to move the ball down the field. A scoring scramble by the former Vikings quarterback was negated by a penalty and the Broncos settled for a 34-yard field goal to give them a 3-26 lead.

Rose Jr. caught a short pass from Mond on Minnesota’s drive to pick up a nice chunk of yardage before the two-minute warning. As the clock ticked down. Ameer Abdullah made some plays to keep the drive alive. Sadly, the purple and gold couldn’t punch the ball into the end zone and Greg Joseph hit a field goal to give the game a 6-26 score in favor of Denver.

Third Quarter

A 59-yard kickoff return put the Broncos into Vikings territory to start the half. Bridgewater and the team moved the ball into the red zone where Trinity Benson hauled in his second touchdown of the game to open up the Denver lead to 6-33.

Smith-Marsette had a decent kick-off return and the Vikings paired that with some hard running from A.J. Rose Jr. to put together a drive past midfield. Mond scrambled for a first down to keep the drive alive and another run from Rose put the team into the red zone. Minnesota went for it on fourth down but Whop Philyor couldn’t haul in the touchdown throw resulting in a turnover on downs.

Denver took over near their own goal line where Brett Rypien entered the game at quarterback. The Broncos moved the ball well on the ground, pounding the ball to the 30-yard line as the quarter expired.

Fourth Quarter

Punching their way down the field, Denver eventually punted the ball away. The Minnesota Vikings took over with Mond and Rose taking care of the ball in a slow, methodical offense. Sadly, this drive also ended with a turnover on downs when a Smith-Marsette catch didn’t get past the sticks on fourth down.

Thankfully, the Vikings defense forced a turnover on downs to get the ball back near midfield. They couldn’t do anything with the drive and punted it back to Denver with 7:07 on the clock. The Broncos and Vikings traded punts again after being ineffective on offense.

Rypien got another chance near midfield with 2:15 left on the clock. However, instead of getting some extra work in, the Broncos kneeled out the game for a final score of 6-33 in favor of the Denver Broncos.

The Minnesota Vikings will play their second game of the preseason on Sunday, Aug. 21 against the Indianapolis Colts. Hopefully, the team will put on a better performance during that contest and the game will be more competitive.