MINNESOTA (6-4) at DENVER (4-5)
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. EST, NBC
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Minnesota 6-4, Denver 3-5-1.
SERIES RECORD: Vikings lead 8-7.
LAST MEETING: Vikings beat Broncos 27-23 on Nov. 17, 2019, in Minneapolis.
LAST WEEK: Vikings beat Saints 27-19, Broncos beat Bills 24-22.
VIKINGS OFFENSE: OVERALL (10), RUSH (29), PASS (3), SCORING (12).
VIKINGS DEFENSE: OVERALL (13), RUSH (10), PASS (16), SCORING (14).
BRONCOS OFFENSE: OVERALL (23), RUSH (12), PASS (28), SCORING (15).
BRONCOS DEFENSE: OVERALL (32), RUSH (32), PASS (23), SCORING (32).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Vikings minus-3, Broncos plus-3.
VIKINGS PLAYER TO WATCH: RB Ty Chandler. With Alexander Mattison in the concussion protocol this week and Cam Akers out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, Chandler is on track to get the bulk of the backfield work. The second-year player from North Carolina scored his first career TD against the Saints on a direct snap and had a 29-yard scamper for a score wiped out by a contested holding penalty.
BRONCOS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Courtland Sutton has a career-high seven touchdown grabs, including two remarkable ones in each of the past two games. He's become Russell Wilson's go-to guy in the red zone. Next Gen stats calculated his toe-dragging touchdown at Buffalo with a completion probability of just 3.2%, the lowest of any catch in the NFL over the past seven seasons.
KEY MATCHUP: QB Joshua Dobbs vs. the Broncos defense that has forced nine turnovers in the past two games, five against Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs and four against Josh Allen's Bills.
KEY INJURIES: Mattison and starting CB Akayleb Evans (calf) did not practice Wednesday. TE T.J. Hockenson (ribs) was limited with an injury he's been playing through for the past two weeks. WR Justin Jefferson (hamstring) is in the second week of a three-week window to return from injured reserve. WR K.J. Osborn (concussion) has been cleared for action after missing the previous game. ... Broncos S PJ Locke sprained an ankle in the first half at Buffalo, but S Kareem Jackson returned this week from his two-game suspension for an illegal hit and will slide right back into the starting spot opposite Justin Simmons. G Ben Powers is dealing with a foot injury. TE Greg Dulcich (hamstring) has only played in parts of two games this season after missing two months of his rookie year in 2022 with pulled hamstrings.
SERIES NOTES: Only one time in the 15 games between these teams has the final score been by more than one score and that happened back in 1984 when the Broncos routed the Vikings 42-21 at old Mile High Stadium. The average difference in the other 14 games is a mere 4.1 points. The Vikings snapped a three-game losing streak in the teams' most recent game in 2019.
STATS AND STUFF: The Vikings have a five-game winning streak that's the longest active run in the league. They're 4-1 on the road. ... Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell is 19-8 in his career, with 16 of those wins coming by eight points or fewer. ... The Vikings have 43 pass completions of 20-plus yards, tied for the most in the NFL with Houston. ... Hockenson leads all TEs with 681 receiving yards. ... Dobbs leads all qualifying players with an average of 5.9 yards per rush. He has a rushing TD in four straight games, including two with Arizona before he was traded. ... The Vikings' Danielle Hunter is tied for the league lead with 11 sacks. ... The Vikings have at least one forced fumble and one interception in six games. The only team with more is Jacksonville (seven). ... The Broncos are seeking their first four-game winning streak since starting defense of their Super Bowl 50 title with four wins in 2016. ... QB Russell Wilson has only averaged 169 yards passing per game over his past six outings, but during that span he has 12 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. ... Wilson completed a season-best 82.8% of his passes last week (24 of 29) at Buffalo for his sixth 100-plus rating of the season, which is tied for the most in the NFL. ... Wilson has 11 TDs and just one INT at home this season and he's 6-1 against the Vikings. ... RB Javonte Williams has averaged 93 scrimmage yards with three TDs in six prime-time games. ... WR Courtland Sutton has six TD catches in his past seven games. He can become the first Broncos player with TDs catches in five consecutive games since TE Julius Thomas in 2014. ... ILB Alex Singleton has had double-digit tackles six times this season, tied for third most in the league. ... CB Patrick Surtain II has broken up six passes in five home games. ... CB Ja'Quan McMillian had five tackles and his first forced fumble and fumble recovery of his career last week at Buffalo. ... S Justin Simmons has 30 interceptions since entering the league in 2016. ... Denver's defense is still last in the league in many categories but that belies the Broncos' recent turnaround in which they've allowed just 16.7 points per game over the past month.
FANTASY TIP: RB Javonte Williams has averaged 82 yards rushing during the Broncos' three-game winning streak and he has touchdown catches in each of his past two outings. But he has yet to run for a TD since returning from the knee injury that sidelined him most of last season.
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