Minnesota Vikings vs. Denver Broncos

MIN
42
DEN
28
FINAL
1234T
MIN 141031542
DEN 0147728

Game Information
Location: Broncos Stadium at Mile High Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 75,530

DENVER (AP) Kirk Cousins was perfect in his cameo, and then kicked back and watched two former Broncos quarterbacks tear apart their old teammates.

Cousins completed all four of his passes in the Vikings' 42-28 exhibition victory Saturday night, including a 1-yard touchdown strike on a quick slant to Stefon Diggs .

"I think it was a smooth first drive but it is a small sample size and the next couple of weeks will be a good test for us," Cousins said.

Diggs called it a good first step.

"He's a good quarterback," Diggs said. "He makes some great throws."

Case Keenum wasn't nearly as sharp in his Denver debut, completing just 1 of 4 passes for 5 yards spanning two drives.

"It's just frustrating not playing well and you don't have a chance to bounce back from it," Keenum said.

Cousins was the crown jewel of this year's free-agent class of quarterbacks, signing an $84 million, three-year deal in Minneapolis. That meant Keenum was out two months after leading the Vikings to the NFC championship, and he signed a $36 million, two-year deal with Denver.

The Broncos then traded their starter, Trevor Siemian, to the Vikings to serve as Cousins' backup - so long as he beats out Kyle Sloter, another former Denver QB.

That left Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly vying for No. 2 duty in Denver.

So, this preseason opener was filled with quarterback intrigue.

After Cousins' single series - one in which he didn't have to face Von Miller - Siemian led Minnesota on three scoring drives, most notably a screen pass to Roc Thomas that beat the blitz for a 78-yard score .

Siemian was 11 of 17 for 165 yards, two TDs and an interception against his old team.

"It was a little weird for sure, but good to see old buddies," Siemian said.

Lynch, the former first-rounder twice beaten out by Siemian in Denver, was just 6 of 11 for 24 yards and an interception.

"Obviously I'm upset," he said.

Despite 17 yards passing overall in the first half, the Broncos only trailed 24-14 at halftime thanks to Isaiah McKenzie's 78-yard punt return for a TD and rookie Royce Freeman's 23-yard TD scamper - Denver's only first down before halftime.

Just when the crowd was starting to lament losing Siemian and Sloter, in came Kelly to fire up the crowd.

Kelly threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to tight end Matt LaCosse. Amid chants of "Kelly! Kelly!" he also drove Denver 85 yards in 11 plays, capping the drive with a 19-yard strike to running back Phillip Lindsay to put the Broncos on top 28-27 with 10 minutes remaining.

Sloter, who was cut by Denver a year ago, responded by throwing a 9-yard touchdown pass to Chad Beebe with six minutes left to put the Vikings back on top. His strike to Jeff Badet for the 2-point conversion made it 35-28.

Safety Jack Tocho picked off Kelly at the Denver 30-yard line with 5:23 left, and Sloter sealed it with a 14-yard bootleg for the score.

Sloter was 9 of 11 for 69 yards and Kelly was 14 of 20 for 176.

Lynch might be losing in his battle to be the backup, but he insisted he's "excited for Chad."

"Chad's been playing really well and he deserves that," Lynch said. "He's a good kid."

Broncos coach Vance Joseph wasn't quite ready to elevate Kelly to No. 2 QB, saying he had to study the film.

"Obviously, Case is the starter, so that's my main concern," Joseph said. "Chad has played well. He played well tonight, outside of the one interception, which led to a score for those guys. He's a guy that plays with a lot of confidence. That's a good deal."

MCKENZIE MAGIC

Joseph's faith in McKenzie finally paid off with his punt return for a score.

"Huge for him," said Joseph, who stuck with McKenzie last year despite a half-dozen fumbles. "He's obviously a talent. His issue last year wasn't talent. It was more decision-making. We're helping him fix that so he can help us win games."

NATIONAL ANTHEM

Linebacker Brandon Marshall and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas weren't with their teammates on the sideline for the national anthem. They emerged from the tunnel behind the Broncos' bench after the anthem was over.

"We didn't know about that," Joseph said. "But it's their right."

INJURIES

Broncos S Jamal Carter (hamstring), CB Marcus Rios (hip) and TE Austin Traylor (right shoulder) got hurt.

NEXT UP

Vikings: Host Jaguars on Aug. 18.

Broncos: Host Bears on Aug. 18.

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1st Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Vikings Broncos
08:15 Stefon Diggs 1 yd pass from Kirk Cousins (Daniel Carlson kick) 7 0
01:36 Roc Thomas 13 yd pass from Trevor Siemian (Daniel Carlson kick) 14 0

2nd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Vikings Broncos
09:47 Daniel Carlson 39 yd FG 17 0
00:59 Royce Freeman 23 yd run (Brandon McManus kick) 17 7
00:58 Roc Thomas 78 yd pass from Trevor Siemian (Daniel Carlson kick) 24 7
00:57 Isaiah McKenzie 78 yd punt return (Brandon McManus kick) 24 14

3rd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Vikings Broncos
00:56 Daniel Carlson 57 yd FG 27 14
00:55 Matt LaCosse 36 yd pass from Chad Kelly (Brandon McManus kick) 27 21

4th Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Vikings Broncos
00:54 Phillip Lindsay 19 yd pass from Chad Kelly (Brandon McManus kick) 27 28
00:53 Chad Beebe 9 yd pass from Kyle Sloter (Jeff Badet 2pt Pass from Kyle Sloter) 35 28
00:52 Kyle Sloter 14 yd run (Daniel Carlson kick) 42 28

Team Stats
  Minnesota Denver
1st Downs 24 14
Total Yards 406 299
Passing 259 189
Passing Completions/Attempts 24-32 21-36
Yards/Pass 7.4 5.0
Rushing 147 110
Rushing Attempts 37 19
Yards/Rush 4.0 5.8
Turnovers 1 2
Fumbles Lost 0 0
Interceptions Thrown 1 2
Possession 35:44 24:16

Minnesota Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Trevor Siemian 11 17 165 9.7 2 1
Kyle Sloter 9 11 69 6.3 1 0
Kirk Cousins 4 4 42 10.5 1 0

Denver Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Chad Kelly 14 21 177 8.4 2 1
Paxton Lynch 6 11 24 2.2 0 1
Case Keenum 1 4 5 1.2 0 0

Minnesota Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Latavius Murray 4 43 10.8 0 21
Mack Brown 11 34 3.1 0 11
Roc Thomas 8 29 3.6 0 9
Mike Boone 12 22 1.8 0 10
Kyle Sloter 2 19 9.5 1 14

Denver Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Royce Freeman 4 38 9.5 1 23
Chad Kelly 3 38 12.7 0 18
De'Angelo Henderson 4 10 2.5 0 6
Dave Williams 3 7 2.3 0 6
Devontae Booker 2 7 3.5 0 4
Phillip Lindsay 2 7 3.5 0 5
Paxton Lynch 1 3 3.0 0 3

Minnesota Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Roc Thomas 3 102 34.0 2 78
Stefon Diggs 3 35 11.7 1 28
Stacy Coley 2 23 11.5 0 19
Chad Beebe 3 22 7.3 1 10
Mike Boone 3 21 7.0 0 9
Jake Wieneke 1 16 16.0 0 16
Cayleb Jones 1 11 11.0 0 11
David Morgan 1 11 11.0 0 11
Kendall Wright 1 9 9.0 0 9
Josiah Price 1 9 9.0 0 9
C.J. Ham 1 7 7.0 0 7
Jeff Badet 1 5 5.0 0 5
Laquon Treadwell 1 3 3.0 0 3
Tyler Conklin 1 2 2.0 0 2
Mack Brown 1 0 0.0 0 0

Denver Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Phillip Lindsay 3 40 13.3 1 19
Matt LaCosse 2 40 20.0 1 36
John Diarse 2 33 16.5 0 19
Brian Parker 2 27 13.5 0 20
Tim Patrick 3 25 8.3 0 14
Mark Chapman 2 16 8.0 0 8
Jordan Leslie 2 12 6.0 0 7
De'Angelo Henderson 1 5 5.0 0 5
Demaryius Thomas 1 5 5.0 0 5
Courtland Sutton 1 3 3.0 0 3
River Cracraft 2 0 0.0 0 0

Minnesota Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Holton Hill 4 0 0 0
Tray Matthews 4 1 0 0
Jack Tocho 4 0 0 0
Kentrell Brothers 3 1 0 0
Ben Gedeon 3 0 0 0
Tashawn Bower 2 1 1 9
Reshard Cliett 2 0 0 0
Mike Hughes 2 0 0 0
Craig James 2 0 0 0
Trevon Mathis 2 1 0 0
Eric Wilson 2 0 0 0
Jonathan Wynn 1 0 1 8
Ade Aruna 1 0 0 0
Ifeadi Odenigbo 1 0 0 0
David Parry 1 0 0 0
Marcus Sherels 1 0 0 0
Trae Waynes 1 0 0 0
Tyler Conklin 0 0 0 0
Anthony Harris 0 1 0 0
Jalyn Holmes 0 0 0 0
Jaleel Johnson 0 1 0 0
Brett Taylor 0 1 0 0
Stephen Weatherly 0 0 0 0

Denver Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Will Parks 5 0 1 8
Zach Kerr 4 0 0 0
Jordan Moore 4 0 0 0
Kyle Peko 4 0 0 0
Josey Jewell 3 2 0 0
Trey Marshall 3 0 0 0
Dymonte Thomas 3 2 0 0
Isaac Yiadom 3 0 0 0
Marcus Rush 2 0 1 3
Shaquil Barrett 2 0 0 0
Keishawn Bierria 2 0 0 0
Jamal Carter 2 0 0 0
Shelby Harris 2 1 0 0
Bradley Roby 2 0 0 0
Justin Simmons 2 1 0 0
C.J. Smith 2 0 0 0
Darian Stewart 2 1 0 0
Jeff Holland 1 0 1 6
Zaire Anderson 1 0 0 0
Bradley Chubb 1 0 0 0
Jerrol Garcia-Williams 1 0 0 0
Adam Gotsis 1 0 0 0
Michael Hunter 1 1 0 0
Brendan Langley 1 0 0 0
Caushaud Lyons 1 0 0 0
Stansly Maponga 1 0 0 0
Derek Wolfe 1 0 0 0
DaeSean Hamilton 0 0 0 0
Andy Janovich 0 0 0 0
Casey Kreiter 0 0 0 0
Jordan Leslie 0 0 0 0
DeMarcus Walker 0 0 0 0
Dave Williams 0 0 0 0

Minnesota Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
Anthony Harris 1 4 0
Jack Tocho 1 0 0

Denver Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
Zaire Anderson 1 5 0

Minnesota Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Mike Hughes 1 16 16.0 0 16

Denver Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Phillip Lindsay 1 34 34.0 0 34
Brendan Langley 1 29 29.0 0 29

Minnesota Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Craig James 1 12 12.0 0 12
Mike Hughes 2 11 5.5 0 11
Marcus Sherels 2 0 0.0 0 0

Denver Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Isaiah McKenzie 1 78 78.0 1 78
River Cracraft 1 13 13.0 0 13

Minnesota Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Daniel Carlson 2 2 100.0 57

Denver Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
No kicking stats.

Minnesota Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Ryan Quigley 5 245 67

Denver Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Marquette King 7 338 62