Minnesota Vikings lose 21-20 to Denver Broncos; break 5-game winning streak

DENVER (AP) — Courtland Sutton’s leaping 15-yard touchdown catch with 1:03 remaining powered the Denver Broncos to a 21-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night, ending the NFL’s longest winning streak at five games.

The Broncos (5-5) now own the league’s longest winning streak at four.

Sutton outleapt cornerback Mekhi Blackmon, who had his eyes on an interception of Russell Wilson’s high throw. Danielle Hunter’s tackle of Javonte Williams on the 2-point try kept the Vikings within a point and needing a field goal to win it.

The Broncos’ defense — which produced three more takeaways, giving Denver a dozen over its last three games — didn’t allow the Vikings to get out of their own side of the field.

Denver forced Joshua Dobbs into an intentional grounding that brought up fourth-and-25 before Dobbs threw one final incompletion with from the Vikings 21 with 16 seconds left.

Dobbs threw for 221 yards and a touchdown and ran for another but lost with the Vikings for the first time since they acquired him in an emergency trade with Arizona.

Wilson went 27 of 35 for 259 yards without an interception for Denver.

The Broncos started their go-ahead drive from their 25 with 3:17 remaining after Greg Joseph’s field goal made it 20-15. That kick capped a 7-minute, 20-second drive by the Vikings that featured a fake punt from their own 30.

Ty Chandler took the snap on fourth-and-5 and scurried 31 yards into Denver territory. He added a 19-yard catch-and-run before the drive stalled at the Broncos 12 and Joseph converted from 30 yards.

Wilson drove the Broncos 75 yards in 10 plays and 2:14, hitting Sutton for the wide receiver’s eighth TD of the season. The Vikings had led since Dobbs’ 3-yard TD toss to tight end Josh Oliver in the second quarter made it 7-3.

Dobbs’ 10-yard scramble into the end zone made it 17-9 in the third quarter.

After Josey Jewell recovered a fumble by Alexander Mattison, the Broncos again settled for a Wil Lutz field goal to make it 17-12 with 12:40 remaining.

Ja’Quan McMillian’s interception of Dobbs set up the Broncos’ offense just inside the Vikings’ 10-yard line, but Denver went backward a yard and settled for Lutz’s 28-yard field goal to get within 17-15 after Jerry Jeudy bobbled Wilson’s pass in the end zone.

Broncos safety Kareem Jackson returned from a two-game suspension for an illegal hit and got away with another one on the Vikings’ opening drive. He led with the crown of his helmet on a third-and-1 run by Dobbs, jarring the ball loose, and Denver recovered.

No flag was thrown and McMillian recovered the loose ball at the Vikings’ 30-yard line, Denver’s second straight opening-drive takeaway, which the Broncos would again convert into a field goal.

Dobbs went straight to the medical tent but came right back out and didn’t miss any snaps.

Jackson’s hit should have resulted in a 15-yard penalty with Minnesota maintaining possession, suggested NBC rules analyst Terry McAulay.

“He lowers his head and makes forcible contact to the opponent,” McAulay said on the broadcast. “You see, his head is down. This should have been a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness.”

The NFL will surely scrutinize Jackson’s tackle. He has already been fined $89,670 for four illegal hits in addition to losing $279,000 in wages from his suspension.

After returning to practice Wednesday, Jackson said he couldn’t guarantee he’d avoid hits bordering on excessive going forward because, as an instinctive player, “I’m going to always be in those situations.”

Lutz added two more field goals, including a 52-yarder as the first half expired to pull the Broncos within 10-9 at the break.

After Lutz’s first field goal, from 31 yards, Dobbs drove the Vikings 65 yards in 10 plays, hitting tight end Josh Oliver with a 3-yard touchdown pass after slipping out of a potential a sack near the sideline by Jonathon Cooper.


Vikings DL Dean Lowry suffered a pectoral injury in the first half and was ruled out for the remainder of the game. WR Justin Jefferson missed his sixth game with a strained right hamstring.


Vikings: Host Chicago on Sunday.

Broncos: Host Cleveland on Sunday.


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