The Broncos backed up a robust defensive 1st half with an outpouring of offense within the second half to defeat Minnesota 35-32. The victory, combined with Oakland's loss, puts the Broncos in initial spot within the AFC West.Tim Tebow Jersey
MINNEAPOLIS -- For your Broncos on Sunday, it was a tale of two halves.
In the very first half, the defense was dominant at instances. Inside the 2nd, the offense came alive inside a shootout. And inside the end, the Broncos came away with a 35-32 win -- their fifth straight -- against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Area.Von Miller Jersey
"It doesn't matter how we did it," Andre' Goodman mentioned. "Just a good group effort right now. The defense kind of held us down within the first half as well as the offense kept us in it inside the 2nd half. Just a excellent team win."
Inside the first half, the Broncos offense couldn't get anything going. The unit's initial play in the game resulted within a safety. From there, the next six drives completed as follows -- punt, fumble, punt, punt, punt, fumble.Aaron Rodgers Jersey
That left the defense around the field for more than 21 minutes from the 30-minute half. Luckily, that side with the ball was playing lights-out early.
Midway via the very first quarter, Brian Dawkins punched the ball out of Christian Ponder's hands on a run, and Jason Hunter recovered the fumble, returning it to midfield.
The offense went three-and-out.
So on Minnesota's up coming possession, the Denver defense took points into its very own hands. On second-and-8, Mario Haggan intercepted a Ponder pass and returned it 16 yards for any touchdown.
Even though the unit permitted 13 factors inside the first half -- Minnesota's other two came by way of a security -- it place up 6 of its very own to maintain the Broncos in the game.
"I feel we had 19 plays in the initial half, we had two turnovers, 3 or 4 penalties," Eric Decker said. "You can't do that stuff -- it just kills you. That's a thing we've got to really stress and practice and get greater at it and obtain a faster commence so we can take some pressure off the defense, since they've been playing awesome."Charles Woodson Jersey
Because the team went towards the locker area for halftime, down 15-7, Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy spoke to the offense about finding it with each other and staying aggressive. It seemed to light a spark inside the unit.
"You have to look within the mirror and see how bad you would like it," stated Tim Tebow, who finished 10-of-15 for 202 yards and two touchdowns -- excellent for any passer rating of 149.three. "I'm just proud of our guys simply because the way we came available within the second half, you may see a different team stepped onto that area."
On their first drive with the 2nd half, the Broncos drove 78 yards down the field, capping off the drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Tebow to Demaryius Thomas.
Together with the score in Minnesota's favor, 15-14, the game turned to offensive fireworks.
Minnesota was up coming to strike, as Ponder hit Percy Harvin for any 52-yard catch-and-run touchdown.
But after a 63-yard kickoff return by Quan Cosby, it took the Broncos specifically one particular play to solution. And it was a memorable 1.
Underneath stress, Tebow rolled to his left. Soon after stiff-arming a defender, he looked to become operating out of bounds, but with the last second fired a pass to Thomas, who discovered himself wide open.
The receiver turned and sprinted upfield, juking past a single defender and dragging another into the finish zone for his second touchdown with the day, a 41-yarder, to bring the score to 22-21, Vikings.
"It felt good," said Thomas, who completed the game having a career-high 144 yards and two touchdowns. "A couple balls came my way and I made plays on them. It felt such as the old me from school. It felt true excellent and hopefully it's going to just go up from there."
However the Vikings weren't completed. Midway via the fourth quarter, Ponder found Harvin yet again, this time for any 48-yard touchdown.
And once again, the Broncos had an instant answer. From his personal 24-yard line, Tebow located Thomas to get a 42-yard strike. The 2nd and last play of the drive was a 24-yard touchdown run by Willis McGahee, who eclipsed the 100-yard mark for your sixth time this season.
That brought the score to 29-27, Vikings, and with eight:52 remaining inside the game, the Broncos elected to go for two. Tebow ran inside the conversion from two yards out, and just like that the game was tied.
"(The offense) had a slow commence in the initial half, however they picked it up inside the second half," Champ Bailey said. "It was vice-versa simply because we played excellent in the initial half and then we commenced giving up plays. It goes each approaches. We carry one another and that's the way it's going to have to be."
Following a 13-play drive by the Vikings that resulted inside a 39-yard area target by Ryan Longwell to take the lead, the Broncos had the ball at their own 20 with 3:06 remaining.
"Our mentality is that if it's close within the fourth, we're going to find a way to win, no matter how it gets completed," Decker said.
Tebow and also the offense proceeded to drive 52 yards down the field -- spurred on by a 40-yard catch by Thomas -- for any game-tying, 46-yard field target by Matt Prater.
So with one:33 remaining, the defense knew it had to hold sturdy to force overtime.
"Guys are actual confident within their ability to produce plays," Hunter said. "When it's crunch time, playmakers need to come out. "
The defense did one far better. On the 1st play with the Vikings' drive, Goodman jumped in front of a Ponder pass and returned it 20 yards for the 15-yard line.
"That was the largest play in the game," Haggan mentioned. "It pretty a lot sealed it for us."
From there, the Broncos ran 5 occasions and let Prater close out the win using a 23-yard field goal as time expired.
Prater now has 3 game-winning area objectives in overtime or as time expires around the road this season, one of the most since Carolina's John Kasay achieved the feat in 2003 -- the Panthers' Super Bowl season beneath Head Coach John Fox.
"When adversity hits and you're not carrying out excellent, most teams pull apart, they're not around the identical page," Tebow said. "But our team grows closer collectively and we come with each other. There's that encouragement, and that's something special. It's some thing that's really thrilling and I'm extremely proud to become a part of that."
For the fifth straight week, the Broncos entered the fourth quarter inside of three points of their opponent. And for that fifth straight week, the Broncos won.
Fox was asked if it feels like he's watching exactly the same film every single week.
"The ending is what I just like the most," he smiled. "Thank the Lord for some excellent, big-hearted guys. They preserve fighting. It didn't start off genuine effectively for us. That first half was just a little sluggish to say the least. They responded. They came back within a huge way. They made the essential plays to win an incredibly difficult, hard-fought game. We'll take it."
The win, coupled with Oakland's 37-14 loss in Miami, place the Broncos at 7-5 and in initial spot within the AFC West -- a prolonged way in the club's 1-4 start off.
"Our mentality genuinely is a single game at a time," Decker said. "To understand that Oakland lost and we won, and that we're tied in very first spot -- we've got a chance. That's the most effective factor right now. We're playing our best football and playing with each other as being a team. Camaraderie is higher and we'll see where it will take us."