DENVER — There was a touch of Mile-High magic in the air on Sunday night.
After trailing for much of a "Sunday Night Football" matchup with the Minnesota Vikings, the Broncos marched 75 yards and scored a go-ahead touchdown with 63 seconds remaining — and then sealed their win with a fourth-down stop against quarterback Josh Dobbs and Minnesota's offense.
Denver trailed by eight points entering the fourth quarter and by five points with just over three minutes remaining, but the team battled back to earn its fourth consecutive win and improve to 5-5 on the season.
"I'm so proud of the heart of this team," tackle Mike McGlinchey said. "That was a gritty, heart-filled win from every aspect of this team and I couldn't be more proud of who we are."
Behind three takeaways from the defense and a spectacular Courtland Sutton touchdown catch, the Broncos found a way to win a grind-it-out game and continue their momentum.
These were the players and plays that made the difference in the Broncos' Week 11 win over the Minnesota Vikings.
There were many moments on Sunday night that could have flipped the outcome. If the Broncos had failed to force a field goal on Minnesota's penultimate drive, the Denver offense would not have had a chance at last-second heroics. And if the Denver defense failed to hold on to a one-point lead and stop the Vikings on their final drive, the offense's performance would have gone to waste. Still, the offense's performance in the final moments stood out. The Broncos took over, trailing by five points, with three timeouts and 3:17 to play. They needed to mount a touchdown drive — something they hadn't accomplished all night — to earn another win and even their record at 5-5.
In the biggest moments, the offense came up big. Sutton made a one-handed grab on fourth down — and drew a pass interference call — and Samaje Perine picked up three first downs on the drive. The defining play, though, was made as Sutton launched himself into the air and plucked a Russell Wilson pass out of the Denver sky for a go-ahead touchdown. Empower Field at Mile High erupted, and the Broncos had the lead for the first time. Seconds later, they would clinch their fifth win of the year.
The Broncos continued their stretch of forcing turnovers, as Denver recovered a pair of fumbles and intercepted Dobbs on Sunday. The Broncos scored just nine points off those takeaways, but they would not have won the game without winning the turnover battle. Denver did not turn the ball over and held a plus-three advantage in the takeaway column.
"If it hadn't been tonight, three [to zero], then obviously, that result would've been different," Head Coach Sean Payton said.
Cornerback Ja'Quan McMillian was all over the field on Sunday, and his fourth-quarter interception of Josh Dobbs was particularly impressive. He undercut a wobbly pass to Brandon Powell and set the Broncos up in prime position. Though Denver was unable to score a touchdown, the play narrowed the lead to two points and kept the Broncos' hopes of winning alive.
Ja'Quan McMillian earns a nod for a fumble recovery and interception. He became the first Bronco with fumble recoveries in back-to-back games since Von Miller in 2015.
Courtland Sutton continues to make plays, and he snagged the go-ahead touchdown by leaping into the air for a Wilson pass. Earlier in the drive, he kept the Broncos' hopes alive with a one-handed catch on fourth down.
Justin Simmons, playing on his birthday, posted a pair of key pass breakups on the Vikings' last-gasp drive.
Wil Lutz made all five of his field-goal attempts, including a 52-yarder with no time remaining in the first half. The five made field goals represented a career high for Lutz.
Samaje Perine was stellar on the Broncos' final drive, as he caught four passes for 40 yards and ran once for a 7-yard gain.