Late Russell Wilson magic, game-winning TD to Courtland Sutton propel Broncos to fourth straight win, 21-20, vs. Vikings

Russell Wilson conjured some Sunday night magic.

The Broncos quarterback dinked and dunked and scrambled.

Then he lofted a pass to the back of the end zone and Courtland Sutton hauled in a go-ahead 15-yard touchdown with 63 seconds left in the game.

A failed two-point try kept the score at 21-20 and gave the Vikings a chance, but Denver’s defense came up with one more stop on Minnesota quarterback Josh Dobbs and company.

Winning streak? Alive and well.

A team that started 1-5 is now back to level at 5-5.

Denver has reeled off four straight wins for the first time since 2016 to make that a reality.

Its veteran quarterback had a lot to do with that in prime time after a mostly quiet three-plus quarters.

Wilson on the go-ahead drive completed 6 of 9 passes for 68 yards, four to running back Samaje Perine and the touchdown to Sutton.

The Broncos’ turnover-happy defense made its mark again. Ja’Quan McMillian and the Denver defense twice set up their offense in terrific position, first with a fumble recovery off of quarterback Josh Dobbs on the third play of the game and then again early in the fourth quarter on an interception.

McMillian, a big-play machine in recent weeks, gave Wilson and company the ball first at the Minnesota 30-yard line and then at the 9-yard line.

McMillian also recovered a fumble last week in Buffalo on the first series that led to Broncos points.

Just like last week, however, Russell Wilson and company didn’t fully capitalize on the big play, settling instead for a pair of field goals.

Those field goals represented one part of a massive failure in the red zone and on third down for the Broncos’ offenses in the pair of departments that nearly undid them.

Denver failed on each of its first four red zone trips, settling for field goals on each occasion. They failed on 10 of their first 11 third-down tries on the night, too. None more brutal than a pair of attempts early in the fourth quarter as the Broncos tried to mount a comeback. First, a third-and-1 conversion turned into an illegal formation penalty and then a Wilson sack, leading to Lutz’s fourth field goal of the night.

After inside linebacker Josey Jewell forced a pop-up throw and McMillian interception to set Denver up with first-and-goal, they went backward. But Wilson recognized an all-out blitz on third-and-goal and threw hot to Jerry Jeudy, who broke open on a slant. Go-ahead touchdown? Nope. Jeudy dropped the ball and in the process squandered what would have been a go-ahead score.

Lutz brought Denver within 17-15, but the Vikings mounted a 14-play, 63-yard drive that chewed 7:20 off the clock and ended in a 30-yard Greg Joseph field goal that put the visitors up 20-15 with 3:17 to play.

As it turned out, the drama was only just beginning.

Minnesota entered Sunday night averaging less than 90 rushing yards per game but piled up 85 in the first half, most of it coming on their first three drives.

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Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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