The Minnesota Vikings will head to Denver, Colorado to take on the Broncos in week 1 of the NFL Preseason schedule. This game will be more like a glorified scrimmage as both teams will be facing a different team for the first time since training camp began. Many of the starters will see limited action in this game.
A quick look back at last year’s fate of both teams could be helpful in determining who will have the upper hand in this game. The Vikings came out of nowhere last season to capture the NFC North Division crown with a 13-3 record. Denver, meanwhile stumbled to a last place finish in the AFC West, finishing the season with a 5-11 record. The Broncos come into this game as the small -1 favorite over the Vikings.
Vikings Camp Getting Testy
The Minnesota Vikings have lofty goals in 2018, and it appears that the competition in camp is in line with these goals. Earlier this week head coach Mike Zimmer had to bench Stefon Diggs and Xavier Rhodes for repeated trash talking against one another. The two players returned to practice on Friday, and compared their actions to a “family feud.”
The Vikings will be unveiling new quarterback Kirk Cousins on Saturday night in Denver. Cousins comes to the Vikings after a solid career with the Washington Redskins. Cousins is not expected to play more than two series in this game, leaving Trevor Siemian to get a majority of the reps. Minnesota should feature another very strong defense in 2018, and points will be hard to come by against them.
Keenum Takes Over in Denver
Former Vikings quarterback, Case Keenum will be taking over the starting job with the Denver Broncos. Keenum had the best season of his career in 2017, leading the Vikings to the NFC Championship game. Keenum signed with the Broncos this offseason after it was clear that the Vikings were going a different direction with Cousins. He will have plenty of motivation in this game, although will likely only play a few series.
One of the biggest question marks for the Broncos in 2018 will be their defense. Denver gave up 22.9 points per game last season, which had them in the bottom third of the league. Linebacker Von Miller is expected to suit up on Saturday night, and he remains the leader of the Broncos defense. Many players will use the preseason as an audition to show coach Vance Joseph that they should make the opening day roster.
Vikings Beat the Broncos
It can be hard to predict what will happen in week 1 of the preseason, but Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has had great success in the past. Zimmer’s teams are 12-5 against the spread in preseason games, and the matchup clearly favors them in this one.
The Broncos don’t have a clear number two quarterback, and that will hurt them after Keenum leaves the game. Minnesota has their sights set on a Super Bowl berth in 2018, and they will be prepared and ready to go in this one. Bet the Minnesota Vikings +1 to defeat the Broncos on Saturday night.