#MINvsDEN: Broncos must stop Adrian Peterson

Posted at 9:48 AM, Oct 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-04 11:48:17-04

The Denver Broncos take on the Minnesota Vikings and star running back Adrian Peterson Sunday in Denver.

It will be the first time since Dec. 30, 2007 that the Broncos have faced the Vikings with Peterson on the field.

The Broncos know that stopping Peterson will be one of three things they must do Sunday if they hope to remain undefeated through Week 4.

Andrew Mason, Senior Digital Reporter for the Broncos, breaks it down:

-- Contain Adrian Peterson

"That's what the Broncos face Sunday: a potential Hall of Famer who is fresh and appears to still be in his prime. And for the most part, as Peterson goes, so go the Vikings," Mason wrote.

-- Keep Manning upright

"Minnesota likes to use linebacker Anthony Barr on blitzes -- both immediate and delayed -- up the middle, and he's recorded four of the Vikings' 18 quarterback hits, according to," Mason reported.

-- Force the Vikings to chase from behind

"In their two wins over the Lions and Chargers, the Vikings sailed to second-quarter leads of 14-0 and 10-0, respectively," Mason wrote. "San Diego pulled within 10-7, but after a three-and-out to start the second half, Peterson sprinted 43 yards for a touchdown, and Minnesota was never seriously threatened."

Here's a visual preview of the game, via

The game begins at 2:25 p.m. at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Here are a few more things to watch for after Denver's victory over the Detroit Lions last Sunday:

-- Protection problems

This wasn't an ideal matchup for a Detroit team that struggled to keep its quarterback from being knocked around the previous weekend at Minnesota. Stafford was sacked four times against the Broncos, with DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller closing in on him on several occasions.

-- Jump balls

Quarterback Peyton Manning's touch is impressive to behold. Three of his most important passes looked like they were essentially thrown up for grabs, but the Denver quarterback put the ball right where his receivers needed it. The touchdown pass to Thomas looked similar to another big play in the fourth quarter, when Manning lofted a 34-yard pass to Emmanuel Sanders along the right sideline.

That setup Denver's final touchdown, an 11-yard pass from Manning to Owen Daniels. Manning put the ball where only Daniels had a chance to catch it.

-- Kicking problems

Lions coach Jim Caldwell said K Matt Prater had an undisclosed illness. Prater's lone extra-point try was blocked, and he didn't attempt any field goals.

-- Injured running backs

Denver RB C.J. Anderson left in the first half after a crunching collision with Detroit's Darryl Tapp. Anderson passed a concussion test and returned, but backup RB Juwan Thompson left for good with a neck injury after a helmet-to-helmet collision near the Detroit goal line.

Denver coach Gary Kubiak is committed to jumpstarting the ground game against Minnesota and says the Broncos need to keep Anderson "on the field consistently," so he should keep getting chances for now.

-- Acrobatic interceptions

When a quarterback throws a pass that's even slightly off, the Broncos can take advantage. Both of Stafford's interceptions came on fine plays by Denver DBs. Bradley Roby made a diving play in the first quarter, and David Bruton Jr. tipped the ball to himself in the fourth to derail another Detroit drive.