Oct 4, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos inside linebacker Brandon Marshall (54) and Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings (68) dive for a loose ball during the second half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos recovered the ball. The Broncos won 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
It took nearly every second of the game, but the Denver Broncos once again went out Kicking and Screaming when it mattered most.
T.J. Ward forced a late Teddy Bridgewater fumble and Von Miller was able to recover the ball with under 30 seconds left in the game to keep the Denver Broncos at 4-0 on the season with a 23-20 win.
The Broncos took a 13-10 lead at the half, and it turned out that the late touchdown from Bridgewater to Wallace in the first half kept the Vikings alive.
The Broncos did come out in the second half with a great drive that led to a touchdown pass from Peyton Manning to Owen Daniels. The score gave the Broncos a 20-10 lead.
However, the Vikings came away with 10 unanswered points. A fourth and one run by Adrian Peterson turned into a 48 yard touchdown run. That was in fact the one time the Broncos failed to contain Peterson. The next drive, Peyton Manning was intercepted, which led to a game tying field goal by Blair Walsh with about five minutes left in the game.
However, Peyton Manning led the Broncos offense down the field and we got to see Brandon McManus kick a field goal in a huge game time situation and convert.
Then the defense prevented a drive in which the Vikings were almost in field goal range with a strip sack. Manning would kneel after the turnover to seal the victory.
The win was not a pretty one. It took every player on that roster to come away with a victory. But the team went out kicking and screaming and proved that they will find any way to win a game.
Now I am going to give out my three stars from today’s game.
Third Star- Ronnie Hillman
Ronnie Hillman helped awaken the running game today as he followed a block from Owen Daniels and the offensive line and scored on a 72 yard touchdown in the second quarter. The run was responsible for the good part of 144 yards rushing for the game.
Second Star- Brandon McManus
In a league in which the kicker has been struggling, Brandon McManus has proved that he is one of the most consistent kickers in the league as of now. He converted on all three of his field goals and both of his extra points.
Brandon McManus is now 9-for-9 on the year and was able to make a kick in a big time situation. Perhaps the questions on him converting on a big time kick will be put to rest for the time being.
First Star- Broncos Defense
Once again, the Denver defense has proved that they are top in the league. The unit had seven sacks on the game and one turnover. While the turnovers were low, the Broncos defense brought the pressure for the majority of the game and kept Adrian Peterson in check for the most part of the game.
This unit is something special. They have recorded 18 sacks so far this season and are on pace for a record performance in 2015.
The Denver Broncos will travel for the next two games, starting with an AFC West showdown against the Oakland Raiders next week. Go Broncos!