By Justin Adams

(CBS4) – The Broncos are back on the field to take on the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota has won five of their last six games, but the Broncos have won three straight over the Vikings. Here’s the four things to watch in Sunday’s matchup.

PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 17: Dalvin Cook #33 of the Minnesota Vikings rushes against Artie Burns #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first quarter during the game at Heinz Field on September 17, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Can the Broncos Run Defense Slow Down Dalvin Cook?

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is second in the NFL with 991 rushing yards and he does a great job filling out the stat sheet. Cook has 100 or more total yards in eight of the 10 games played this season.

Since giving up 269 rushing yards to Jacksonville, Denver has allowed 371 rushing yards in the last five games, an average of 74.2 yards a game. Denver will need a similar effort of the road to beat the Vikings.

Keep Brandon Allen and the Broncos Offense out 3rd and Long

Brandon Allen

Brandon Allen of the Denver Broncos throws a pass under pressure during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at Mile High on Nov. 3, 2019. (credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Brandon Allen will get his first career start on the road on Sunday. One of the best ways to the offense on track is by avoiding 3rd down and long plays. The Broncos have converted only 29 percent of their 3rd down tries this season, which is third worst in the NFL.

In the last four games, Denver is 9-44 on 3rd downs.

Win the Turnover Battle

The Vikings are one of the top teams in the league at taking away the football. Minnesota has 15 takeaways with nine coming from interceptions (5th in NFL). The Vikings are also fifth in the league in turnover margin (+5).

The Broncos on the other hand have only given away the ball 10 times, which is sixth fewest in the NFL, but the team needs to force more turnovers. Denver has only seven takeaways on the season.

Get to Kirk Cousins

Quarterback Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings runs the offense in the first quarter of a game against the Denver Broncos during an NFL preseason game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on August 11, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Minnesota does a tremendous job protecting their quarterback Kirk Cousins. He’s been sacked only 17 times, but there is a formula at getting to him. In the Chicago Bears 16-6 win over the Vikings in Week 4, the Bears sacked Cousins a season-high six times. Chicago also held Dalvin Cook to a season-low 35 yards rushing.

It will be a tough task, but if the Broncos can shut down Cook, then they have a great shot at making life tough for Cousins.

Justin Adams


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