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Vikings Complete 20-Point Comeback, Deny Denver in End Zone

MINNEAPOLIS — Deny, deny, deny.

That was what was needed on defense by the Vikings after the offense refused to be denied.

The Vikings were able to prevent three pass attempts by Broncos QB Brandon Allen from the Minnesota 4 in the final 10 seconds on Sunday to finish off an improbable 27-23 victory on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Allen targeted Tim Patrick against Trae Waynes on his first attempt, but the cornerback broke it up. He then turned to tight end Noah Fant on consecutive plays, but Jayron Kearse challenged both throws.

It was a wild ending for Kearse, who finished Dallas off the week before with an interception in the end zone.

Kirk Cousins threw two touchdowns in the fourth quarter (54 yards to Stefon Diggs and 32 to Kyle Rudolph), and Dalvin Cook rushed for another as Minnesota overcame a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter with three scores in less than seven-and-a-half minutes.

Cousins finished 29 of 35 passing for 319 yards with three scores and a passer rating of 133.2.

View game photos as the Vikings take on the Denver Broncos at U.S. Bank Stadium recognizing Salute to Service on Sunday.

Diggs led Minnesota with 121 yards on five receptions, all of which happened in the second half, and Rudolph added 67 yards on five catches.

Bisi Johnson added six catches for 35 yards, and Dalvin Cook contributed 31 more on five catches with a long of 21.

Cook, the NFL's leading rusher entering Week 11, was bottled up by Denver for much of the day. He finished with 26 yards on 11 carries.

The Broncos owned the first half in every basic statistical category, earning 12 first downs and allowing just four.

Denver was 3-for-8 on third down, and Minnesota was just 1-for-6.

The visitors had edges of 217 to 47 in net yards (75 to 14 rushing; 142 to 33 passing), 37 to 23 in offensive plays, and 5.9 to 2.0 in yards per play.

The Broncos won the turnover battle (two by Minnesota; one by Denver) and time of possession (19:01 to 10:59).

Allen finished 17-of-39 passing for 240 yards with a touchdown and an interception for a passer rating of 61.9.

Courtland Sutton led the Broncos with 113 yards on five catches.

Scoring summary

Q1, 11:32 remaining

Broncos 3, Vikings 0

Brandon McManus kicks a 47-yard field goal [6 plays, 46 yards, 2:38 time of possession]

Quick hits: The Broncos traveled 42 combined yards on their second and third snaps (the first was wiped off because of a penalty).

Q1, 4:39 remaining

Broncos 10, Vikings 0

Troy Fumagalli catches a 3-yard pass from Brandon Allen (McManus kicks PAT) [6 plays, 90 yards, 2:23 time of possession]

Chunk plays: Courtland Sutton reeled in a 48-yard reception and drew a 24-yard pass interference penalty on the drive.

Q2, 12:21 remaining

Broncos 17, Vikings 0

Andy Janovich rushes for a 1-yard touchdown (McManus kicks PAT) [10 plays, 69 yards, 5:06 time of possession]

Second efforts: It initially looked as if Sutton was stopped on a run on fourth-and-1 three plays before Janovich kept his run alive and reached the ball just past the goal line.

Q2, 1:06 remaining

Broncos 20, Vikings 0

McManus kicks a 29-yard field goal [4 plays, 6 yards, 1:34 time of possession]

Strong stand: Minnesota's defense was able to limit Denver to a field goal after the Broncos got the ball at the Vikings 17 via a sack, forced fumble and recovery.

Q3, 11:29 remaining

Broncos 20, Vikings 7

Irv Smith, Jr., catches a 10-yard pass from Kirk Cousins (Dan Bailey kicks PAT) [9 plays, 75 yards, 3:31 time of possession]

Jump-start: After being moribund in the first half, Minnesota was efficient on its first possession of the second half. Cousins was able to convert a fourth-and-1 with a sneak, then fire to Stefon Diggs for a gain of 44 before connecting with Smith two plays later.

Q3, 4:23 remaining

Broncos 23, Vikings 7

McManus kicks a 41-yard field goal [12 plays, 52 yards, 7:06]

Extended by penalty: The Vikings appeared to have forced a punt, but a neutral zone infraction on fourth-and-3 gave the Broncos a fresh set of downs.

Q4, 13:25 remaining

Broncos 23, Vikings 13

Dalvin Cook runs for a 3-yard touchdown (conversion pass fails) [18 plays, 75 yards, 5:58 time of possession]

Nickel and dime: The longest gain on the drive was a 20-yard pass from Cousins to Tyler Conklin on a third-and-14

Q4, 10:21 remaining

Broncos 23, Vikings 20

Stefon Diggs catches a 54-yard pass from Cousins (Bailey kicks PAT) [3 plays, 62 yards, 0:35 time of possession]

Quick strike: A series after an 18-play drive, the Vikings kept the momentum going. Minnesota rolled Cousins to his left, allowing him time to take the deep shot to Diggs.

Q4, 6:01 remaining

Vikings 27, Broncos 23

Kyle Rudolph catches a 32-yard pass from Cousins (Bailey kicks PAT) [5 plays, 67 yards, 2:14 time of possession]

Key conversion: A play before Rudolph slipped behind the defense, Cousins converted a third-and-5 with a 9-yard pass to Diggs.