December 2, 2023

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Winners and losers from the Broncos’ 23-13 victory over the Vikings

Winners and losers from the Broncos' 23-13 victory over the Vikings

The Denver Broncos They wrapped up pre-season last night with a 23-13 victory over Minnesota Vikings. It was a solid show by the team after their disappointing loss to buffalo bills last week.

Unlike last week, I have a slew of Bronco winners after a solid performance while only a handful of losers.


Running backwards, Mike Poon

The Broncos came out of the third series back with a shootout last night and showed the coaches why he deserved some seasons during the regular season as well.

Boone appeared as the best on the field for the second game in a row and finished the night with 5 stands for 54 yards, 8.8 yards per carry, and 2 receptions for 7 yards.

Boone finished pre-season strong and so did Team Broncos overall running game. Having become anemic during their first two pre-season games, a total of 148 yards rushed last night. So, hopefully this is a sign of things to come once Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon hit the field in a couple of weeks vs. Seattle Seahawks.

Salameh, Dilaryn Turner YL

The rookie had his best game tonight and showed the Broncos coaches that he deserves a spot on the 53-man list.

The rookie safety was flying around and hitting people in this game and even had an almost fantastic hit that would block a drop in fourth and goal. It was later revised that the ball crossed the plane, but nonetheless, he was a great player by Turner-Yell.

He then played another big role in fourth and goal when he sacked Vikings quarterback Kellen Mund to force Doran to relegation. The rookie Broncos are vying to be fifth safe on the list behind Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson, Caden Stearns and PJ Locke.

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Defensive Lineman, Mactilvin Agim

The previous third round selection was one of his best games of all time and he probably helped himself to build a roster of 53 players from the Broncos.

Agim had multiple passing deviations, like former Broncos defensive line Shelby Harris, had a sack and was all over the field as coach Nathaniel Hackett said after the game.

The Broncos’ defensive line depth isn’t great after DJ and Dre’Mont Jones, so playing Agim well makes you feel a little better about that. I’m not sure if Agim’s list is safe, but a game like this certainly doesn’t hurt his chances of making the list.

Edge Rusher, Nick Bonito

One of the players who needed a strong finish before the start of the season was the pick of Nick Ponto in the second round. Edge’s rookie drive had an up and down start to his NFL career, but he finished pre-season strong.

Demonstrate his explosive power, swipe moves, ability to clear barriers and reach passersby. Bonitto finished the night with two bags, one forced, and multiple stresses.

Bonitto will probably have the fourth or fifth edge on the team, so he still has time to develop. However, tonight showed why the Broncos occupied him and what he could do for the Broncos’ defense in the future.

Wide receiver, Seth Williams

The Broncos’ wide receiver skyrocketed at the end of the pre-season and helped make his case for a spot on the 53-man roster.

He hit four balls for 68 yards that included a deep volley from quarterback Brett Ribbian who found Williams wide open on the field. Williams had to do some nice moments to get to the ball and was able to get some YAC after the play as well.

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Williams looks like he’s out looking for a spot on the roster, but this performance could help him secure a spot on the roster at the Broncos or with another team. If not, he looks destined for a place in the Broncos’ 16-man coaching squad.

Wide Receiver KJ Humler

After a lengthy rehab process for wide receiver KJ Hamler, he is back on the field for the first time since he sustained an ACL tear and groin injury early last season.

He finished the night with 3 catches for 18 yards. A somewhat unimpressive stat line, but that’s not the point. Humler seemed fast, he was making cuts, he took some hits, and most importantly he came out of the game healthy.

We’ll likely see Humler lining up as a start against the Seahawks and potentially making some big games with quarterback Russell Wilson throwing the ball to him.


Midfielders Brett Ribbian and Josh Johnson

I’m not sure if either of them really “loser” after last night’s game, but neither of them really looked great. Rypien had a few good drives but his interception in the finish zone really spoiled his night. He led a touchdown run that ended with Montreal Washington finishing around the end zone, but it was a somewhat pedestrian night for the quarterback Broncos.

As for Josh Johnson, he didn’t do much in the second half. My confidence in being strong reserve players for the Broncos is rather low. I wouldn’t be shocked if neither of these two made the list if a better option was available.

Wide reception, Brandon Johnson

The uncut debutante looks locked in a spot on the roster but, unfortunately, suffered a sprained ankle in his first game of the game.

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The severity of an ankle sprain is unknown, but an elevated ankle sprain are difficult injuries that can sideline you for longer than the original diagnosis.

That’s disgusting to Johnson because he looks locked into a spot on the list, but this injury is a bit derailed. It seems unlikely that this will be a long-term injury, but the Broncos could choose to put him in injured reserve and keep another future on the roster while Johnson recovers.

After all, anytime a player who is somewhat in the roster bubble suffers an injury during the pre-season finale, it’s a bug.

Wide Receiver, Galen Virgil

Jalen Virgil’s uncut wide receiver has a great baseline, but a few bugs, and when he got into the game, I’m including it here.

He kicked off the match with an unfavorable kick-off as the Broncos started deep into their territory. He later got an attacking pass into the red that pushed the Broncos back from inside the 1 yard line.

Also, Virgil didn’t enter until the third quarter and appeared behind Montreal Washington, Brandon Johnson and Seth Williams on the depth chart. So, this seemed to indicate that Virgil was a strong candidate for a place on the coaching squad, but it’s unlikely for a place on the 53-man list.

Long Snapper, Jacob Buenmuir

It’s never good for a long snapper to be noticed in a game, and it happened last night. He had a few shots off target and then took a kick in the end zone which resulted in touching the ball rather than dropping the ball inside the five-yard line

This is noteworthy because the Broncos worked several long snappers during training camp and could look for a replacement again during the downtime.