The Minnesota Vikings are coming off a big victory against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Now, they return home to take on the Denver Broncos in Week 11. The Vikings are significant favorites to win but some view it as a trap game because they will be heading into a bye after the game.
On paper, the Vikings are a far superior team and they will prove that on Sunday afternoon. Let’s breakdown four reasons the Vikings will defeat the Broncos.
4. Mike Zimmer vs Brandon Allen
The Vikings’ defense has not been as elite this year as years past, but head coach Mike Zimmer is still one of the best defensive minds in the NFL.
Now, Zimmer gets to prepare to go against an inexperienced quarterback in Brandon Allen. Allen made his first start against the Broncos a couple of weeks ago against the Cleveland Browns and he didn’t look that bad throwing for 193 yards and two touchdowns.
This is a different challenge having to get ready for the many looks of Zimmer’s defense and Allen is going to struggle. Mix that in with the Vikings fans who will be rocking US Bank Stadium, it’s going to be a long afternoon for the former sixth-round pick.
3. Vikings’ run defense
The Broncos have some effective running backs but the Vikings have been solid at stopping the run all season. Even with Linval Joseph sidelined during their win over the Cowboys, the Vikings had no issue slowing down Ezekiel Elliott as he rushed for 47 yards on 20 carries.
Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman have both had success this year for the Broncos. However, they are going to have a hard time moving the chains against the Vikings. If Denver is running the ball on early downs, it’s going to leave a lot of second and third and longs.
2. Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, and CJ Ham
The Vikings have one of the best running attacks in football and even though Dalvin Cook gets all the attention, Alexander Mattison and CJ Ham are just as important.
Against the Cowboys, Cook rushed for 97 yards on 26 carries and Mattison added another 52 yards on eight carries. Both of those guys wouldn’t have the success they have had this season if it wasn’t for fullback CJ Ham who has quickly become one of the best in football. The Vikings have got the run game going against every team, it doesn’t matter how good of a run defense they face. It should be no different on Sunday against the Broncos.
— Sean Borman (@SeanBormanNFL) November 11, 2019
1. Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins has gotten a lot of heat since coming to the Vikings because of his play, but he is playing some of the best football of his career now.He looks very comfortable with the offense and is excelling with the plays that are being called.
In each of Cousins’ last two games, he has thrown for 220 yards and a total of five touchdowns. He has done a good job of not turning the ball over and when a big throw needs to happen, he can be trusted.
The Vikings might not need to throw the ball a lot in the second half because they are up big, but if there needs to be a late drive to win the game, Cousins will lead them on it.