Coming off arguably their biggest win of the season, the Minnesota Vikings look to continue their surge Sunday when they host the Denver Broncos.
How to Watch
When: Sunday, Nov. 17
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
The Vikings (7-3) grabbed control of the second wild-card spot in the NFC with an impressive 28-24 victory at Dallas on Sunday night. Minnesota’s offense looked in sync throughout the first three quarters as Kirk Cousins threw for 220 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Dalvin Cook added 97 rushing yards and a score.
The defense stepped up in the fourth quarter, limiting the Cowboys to a field goal after they reached the Vikings’ 5-yard line and forced a turnover on downs after Dallas had penetrated the red zone on its next drive.
Minnesota has won five of its last six games and is also one game behind Green Bay in the NFC North. Cook holds a narrow two-yard lead over Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey for the top spot among NFL rushers and is nine shy of his first career 1,000-yard rushing season.
Cousins did well adjusting to playing without injured top receiver Adam Thielen, making tight end Kyle Rudolph a focal point of the passing game. Rudolph caught both touchdown passes and despite totaling just four receptions for 14 yards, three of those catches were for first downs.
Thielen has been dealing with a hamstring injury that sidelined him two games and kept him out of all but a handful of plays in a third game. With the Vikings going into their bye week after this game, it is possible head coach Mike Zimmer could take a cautious approach and hold him out of this contest as well.
Fellow wideout Stefon Diggs, who leads the team with 41 catches and 759 yards, has struggled with the added attention from Thielen’s absence and totaled just four catches for 53 yards in the last two games.
If Minnesota’s offense looks familiar to the Broncos (3-6) it is because offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski has retained one-time Broncos head coach and offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak as an assistant head coach and advisor.
First-year Broncos coach Vic Fangio will also be familiar with the Vikings personnel after spending the past four seasons as defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears. Denver is also coming off its bye week in which it defeated Cleveland, 24-19, on Nov. 3.
Brandon Allen, making his NFL debut, was effective and completed 12-of-20 passes for 193 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Philip Lindsay galloped 30 yards for a touchdown in the second half en route to totaling 92 yards on nine carries.
Denver’s defense proved effective, keeping Cleveland out of the endzone until the fourth quarter. The Broncos have held four of their last five opponents under 20 points, recording all three of their wins in that span.
Denver has won the last three games between the teams, all on late field goals. The most recent matchup was decided by Brandon McManus’ 39-yard field goal with 1:51 to play in a 23-20 Broncos victory in 2015.