Report:3 Keys to Broncos players is to miss 4 games due to…

Denver

 CO. — Good things can be hard to find. But you don’t have to look far for positivity amid the Denver Broncos’ three-game winning streak fresh off their miraculous 24-22 upset of the Buffalo Bills.

For Week 11’s matchup, the 4-5 Broncos will host the 6-4 Minnesota Vikings in Denver for Sunday Night Football. The last time the Broncos won three consecutive games was during the first three weeks of the 2021 regular season.

 CO. — Good things can be hard to find. But you don’t have to look far for positivity amid the Denver Broncos’ three-game winning streak fresh off their miraculous 24-22 upset of the Buffalo Bills.

For Week 11’s matchup, the 4-5 Broncos will host the 6-4 Minnesota Vikings in Denver for Sunday Night Football. The last time the Broncos won three consecutive games was during the first three weeks of the 2021 regular season.

This will be the third prime-time game in a row featuring head coach Sean Payton and quarterback Russell Wilson’s red-hot team of underdogs. Nobody saw the Broncos’ three-week reign of success coming after they started the season 1-5.

Meanwhile, the Vikings boast the longest winning streak in the NFL with five consecutive victories and have been surpassing expectations in their own right. With a win against a tough Minnesota team on SNF, the Broncos aim to be .500 and to get in the hunt for postseason contention

Here’s how Denver can earn its fourth consecutive win under the bright lights.

Take the Ball Away from Josh Dobbs

It’s difficult to accept that the Broncos defense surrendered 70 points to the Miami Dolphins back in Week 3’s humiliating matchup. It’s even harder to imagine that same team holding its opponents to 16 points per game, ranking first in the NFL in weeks seven through ten, but that’s what we’re witnessing with this Orange and Blue defense.

In addition to three consecutive wins, the Broncos have won four out of their last six games since suffering the beatdown in Miami. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph deserves credit for orchestrating Denver’s defense that has forced nine total takeaways in the last two games.

Remember, this unit recorded just seven total takeaways through the first seven games and is now coming off upset wins against two of the AFC’s elite-tiered quarterbacks — Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. The Broncos’ defense has also reduced its total yards per game from 450.6 in the first five games to 331.7 and dramatically improved its rush defense from 187.6 yards per game to just 98.3.

The Arizona Cardinals traded Dobbs, a journeyman quarterback, to the Vikings in Week 9 after Kirk Cousins’ season-ending Achilles tear and backup QB Jaren Hall’s concussion. Since then, the 28-year-old Dobbs has been breaking records and winning football games.

Dobbs is 2-0 as the Vikings starter and became the first player in NFL history to amass 400 passing yards, 100 rushing yards, and zero interceptions in his first two games with a team.

Dobbs has thrown for 426 yards and three touchdowns but has fumbled the ball three times in the last two games. In fact, he’s fumbled 11 times in 10 games playing for the Cardinals and Vikings this season, in addition to throwing five picks.

Minnesota has fumbled the ball 17 times this season, losing 12 of them. It’s an accident-prone team with the ball. The Broncos’ defense should be able to catch Dobbs throwing a pick or, at the very least, swiping the ball for a strip-sack, as they failed to record a single sack against the Bills on MNF.

Here’s to hoping that the Broncos’ bakery is open late on Sunday night for more turnovers in Denver.

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Reward RBs With Rushing TDs

Payton’s commitment to running the football the last three games has undoubtedly contributed to all three victories. He’s called 103 rushes that have earned 420 yards for a 4.08 yards-per-carry average. Running the ball also won the time of possession battle in Denver’s last two primetime matchups, allowing its defense to be fresh while the offense consumed the clock.

But for all the offensive success that the Broncos’ offensive line and running back stable has enjoyed of late, they haven’t scored a rushing touchdown since Week 2. Undrafted rookie Jaleel McClaughlin is the only running back to score on the ground this season, coming in the Broncos’ 35-33 loss to Washington. The Broncos currently rank 14th in total rushing yards (1,056), yet their solo rushing scores rank them dead last as a team in scoring.

Despite averaging 3.9 yards per carry this season with 436 rushing yards and having caught two touchdown passes this season, starting running back Javonte Williams hasn’t scored on the ground since Week 16 back in 2021. However, the 23-year-old former second-round pick has been very active in the passing attack as a receiver, with 21 receptions for 109 yards.

Oddly enough, Williams has accounted for 25 total first downs in Payton’s offense, with 20 of them coming on the ground, proving his level of production wherever the team needs it.

The Vikings’ defense has allowed just four rushing scores in 10 games, surrendering 3.7 yards per carry and 85.7 yards per game on the ground. If Denver hopes to extend its winning streak, the O-line must find a way to get Williams into the end zone and provide themselves a return on this rushing investment.

Wilson the Game Manager, Not the Hero

For the first time since joining the Broncos, Wilson is truly settling into his role as the starting quarterback. The nine-time Pro Bowler ranks first in touchdown percentage (6.9), fourth in NFL passer rating (104.0), third in touchdown passes (18), and has already eclipsed his passing score total from last season (16 in 2022).

Wilson has also won just as many games this season as he did in 2022 as the team captain has seemingly embraced his role as Payton’s game manager on the field. In the last three weeks, Wilson hasn’t surpassed 29 attempts, nor has he exceeded 200 yards passing.

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