12 Snap Reactions after Vikings at Broncos

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Each week, we offer a “snap reactions” piece detailing thoughts and analysis after the latest Minnesota Vikings game.

12 Snap Reactions after Vikings at Broncos

This will be off-the-cuff, a wee bit random, and hopefully insightful.

The Vikings lost 21-20 in Week 11 at the Denver Broncos, canceling the five-game winning streak and extending Denver’s to four. Minnesota now has an 80% chance of reaching the playoffs, according to the New York Timesplayoff simulator. A win would have nudged the percentage close to 90%

at broncos
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1 – Unless Vikings fans thought the team would never lose again in 2023 and eventually win the Super Bowl, this loss wasn’t too devastating. The club’s playoff probability hardly moved, and with a journeyman veteran at quarterback, the winning streak was destined to end soon. The spurt ended at Denver.

2 – The Vikings were playing without QB1, WR1., ILB1, OLB2, CB2, and RB2. A loss at Denver isn’t that mind-boggling.

3 – Josh Dobbs will rebound, and the Vikings should have a few wins in a row afoot. But his strange fumbles and curious passes at times appear to be a part of The Dobbs Experience. They’re not going away.

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4 – Minnesota coughed away the rock three times and stole it away zilch. That is a recipe for disaster — see Weeks 1-3 — and of course a team should lose when the turnover battle is that upside down. Back to basics and a familiar talking point: This brand of Vikings will only win games when turnovers aren’t flooding into the statsheet. Football 101.

5 – The loss at Denver should serve as a bright flashing light that the Vikings need an equitable RB by committee. Alexander Mattison had a moderately productive game, but his fumble was absolutely deadly. It caused a six- or ten-point swing. That’s fatal in a road game (or any game).

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6 – Dobbs had 21 rushing yards. For his style of ball, plus his supporting cast without Justin Jefferson, that might need to be 50+ rushing yards each game for Minnesota to prevail. He’s not a pocket passer like Cousins — he doesn’t have to be — so Dobbs should tuck and run more frequently. Think diet Lamar Jackson.

7 – Kevin O’Connell’s fake punt playcall was tremendous. Kevin O’Connell’s “playing not to lose” on the second-to-last offensive drive was not tremendous. These peaks and valleys occur with young head coaches. Such is life.

8 – The Vikings won the time of possession battle in Denver (35 minutes) and lost. That doesn’t happen too often with O’Connell as skipper. Again, the giveaways were lethal.

9 – Minnesota’s defense was terrific on 3rd Down (2-12). It’s too bad that performance was squandered.

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10 – Brandon Powell fired up more vital receptions. He is Jarius Wright reincarnated.

11 – Like the defensive 3rd Down stat, the Vikings bottled up the Broncos’ rushing attack. Javonte Williams had 37 yards. Sadly, it didn’t matter.

12 – Minnesota has winnable games around the bend versus the Chicago Bears and at the Las Vegas Raiders, with a bye sandwiched in the middle to get healthy. It can be 8-5 by the time your tears dry over this loss. Onward.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.