The Vikings played keep away from Peyton Manning and recorded two takeaways against the five-time NFL MVP, but it wasn't enough to lift Minnesota over Denver in a 23-20 loss Sunday.
Both turnovers caused by the Vikings, however, transitioned into points for the offense, which held the ball 33:54, including 19:49 of the first half.
With Denver trying to build on a 13-3 lead late in the first half, Anthony Barr jumped in front of a short pass intended for Andre Caldwell. Barr returned his first career interception 32 yards to the Denver 27-yard line.
After an illegal substitution penalty against the Broncos, Mike Wallace followed with an 18-yard catch and scored his first touchdown with the Vikings a play later (a 4-yard pass from Teddy Bridgewater). It brought the Vikings to within three at intermission.
Two plays after Adrian Peterson converted a fourth-and-one with a 48-yard touchdown run to make it a 20-17 lead for the Broncos, Harrison Smith patrolled the back of the defense and capitalized on an overthrow intended for Demaryius Thomas.
It was the 11th career interception for Smith, who grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, where Manning starred collegiately before Smith turned 9. Earlier in the week, Manning had complimented Smith's cover skills.
The Vikings were able to move the ball after the interception for a 33-yard field goal with 5:11 remaining. The Vikings limited Manning to 213 yards and one touchdown 17-of-27 passing. The two interceptions lowered his passer rating to 68.9, his third-lowest in a regular season home game with the Broncos, but Denver improved to 24-2 at home since Manning arrived in