Escape artists: Broncos beat Vikings, 23-20, improve to 4-0

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DENVER — The Broncos improved to 4-0 for the second time in three years Sunday, blowing a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter but getting a late field goal and holding on to beat the Minnesota Vikings, 23-20, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

The Broncos led, 20-10, with 10 minutes to play, but Adrian Peterson scored on a 48-yard touchdown run on fourth down and a Peyton Manning interception was turned into a field goal to tie the game with 5:11 to play.

But Manning led the Broncos on a nine-play, 55-yard drive, getting a 39-yard field goal from Brandon McManus to go ahead, 23-20, with 1:51 to play.

Minnesota had one last chance with two timeouts remaining. The Vikings got to their 47-yard line but on second down, the Broncos’ T.J. Ward stripped the ball from Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater at the 42-yard line and recovered the fumble to seal the win with 29 seconds to play.

The win moved the Broncos to 4-0 for the second time in three years. In 2013, the Broncos started 6-0 en route to Super Bowl XLVIII. And with the Oakland Raiders losing, the Broncos lead the AFC West by two games over the Raiders and San Diego Chargers.

Of the previous seven times the Broncos have started at least 4-0 — 2013 (6-0), 2009 (6-0), 2003 (4-0), 1998 (13-0), 1997 (6-0), 1986 (6-0) and 1977 (6-0) — they reached the playoffs all but one time, missing in 2009 in coach Josh McDaniels’ first season. They also reached the Super Bowl in five of those seasons.

The Broncos play at the Raiders next week and don’t return home until Nov. 1 against the Green Bay Packers.

Relive the game in the recap below, including sideline coverage and analysis from our team along with all the social media reactions.

 

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