Twelve things from the Broncos’ 33-6 preseason win over the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday:
1. Everybody who played for the Broncos saw at least eight snaps of work. Out of 60 snaps on offense, the leaders were left guard Netane Muti (37) and center Lloyd Cushenberry, left tackle Calvin Anderson, center Austin Schlottmann and right tackle Quinn Bailey (all 30). At quarterback, it was Brett Rypien (23), Drew Lock (20) and Teddy Bridgewater (19). Among the projected Week 1 starters, Cushenberry led the way, followed by right guard Graham Glasgow/right tackle Bobby Massie (20 apiece), receivers Jerry Jeudy (15) and KJ Hamler (13) and tight end Noah Fant (eight).
2. Coach Vic Fangio’s decision to sit his top defensive players except for cornerback Pat Surtain II was a benefit for others. Out of 66 snaps, 11 players had at least 30 snaps, led by safeties P.J. Locke (64) and Caden Sterns (54). Down three safeties after Trey Marshall’s opening-kickoff sprained ankle, Locke and Sterns led the Broncos with six tackles apiece. Surtain played 20 snaps.
3. The Broncos had eight explosive plays (rush of at least 12 yards/pass of at least 16) — three rushes and five passes — compared to only three for the Vikings (two rushes and one pass). The Broncos’ explosive plays were rushes of 13 (Javonte Williams), 18 (Royce Freeman) and 17 (Damarea Crockett) yards and catches of 25 and 80 (Hamler), 33 (Jeudy), 22 (tight end Eric Saubert) and 17 (receiver Trinity Benson) yards.
4. When Lock and Bridgewater were in the game, the Broncos used five personnel groupings. The most popular was 2WR-1RB-2TE (12 snaps). Lock and Bridgewater had at least two tight ends on the field for a combined 18 snaps.
5. The Broncos’ pass protection was solid. The only booked quarterback pressure was on Massie and the only knockdown (of Rypien) was due to an unblocked player. The Broncos’ pass rush totaled six disruptions — a sack by outside linebacker Andre Mintze, knockdowns by defensive lineman Jonathan Harris and outside linebackers Malik Reed and Derrek Tuszka, and pressures by outside linebacker Jonathon Cooper, defensive lineman Shamar Stephen and inside linebacker Barrington Wade. Mintze’s sack (3.68 seconds) was a clean-up play when Stephen pushed back guard Wyatt Davis. Stephen started the scoring by drawing a holding call on right guard Dakota Dozier in the end zone, resulting in a safety.
6. Seventy-nine of Lock’s 151 passing yards came after the catch, including 13 on Hamler’s first catch (25-yard gain) and 33 on his 80-yard touchdown. Jeudy gained 24 yards post-catch (33-yard gain).
7. The “air” yards of Bridgewater’s eight passes were five, one, 11, six, five, 15, four and four yards. His longest completion was 22 yards to Saubert (21 post-catch yards).
8. Williams started the game with rushes of 11 and 13 yards. A nice cut-back to the left helped the first play and he broke cornerback Cameron Dantzler’s tackle on the second play.
9. A big day for Mintze, trying to make the team as a reserve edge rusher. Over the span of three Vikings drives, he had a sack, drew a penalty and had a run “stuff” (no gain).
10. Fangio rushed five or more players on only eight of the Vikings’ 31 drop-backs. Minnesota quarterbacks were 2-of-7 passing for 22 yards (one sack) against extra rushers.
11. The Broncos’ secondary was around the football. Surtain had a pass break-up and interception, Locke had two pass break-ups and Sterns and cornerback Michael Ojemudia had one apiece.
12. The Broncos missed five tackles — one apiece by Reed, defensive tackle Isaiah Mack and inside linebackers Justin Strnad, Josh Watson and Peter Kalambayi.