Browning’s fumble return TD helps Broncos beat Vikings 23-13

Aug 27, 2022, 9:19 AM | Updated: Aug 28, 2022, 12:48 am

Denver Broncos linebacker Baron Browning (56) celebrates his touchdown against the Minnesota Viking...

Denver Broncos linebacker Baron Browning (56) celebrates his touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — Third-year defensive tackle McTelvin Agim’s spot on the Denver Broncos roster is all but assured. Still, he went into the final tune-up determined to stand out in case he finds himself looking for work.

Agim forced two fumbles and broke up two passes in the Broncos’ 23-13 preseason win over the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday night, and his best play, a strip-sack of Sean Mannion, led to Baron Browning’s 17-yard fumble return for a touchdown just before halftime.

“That was my mind-set,” Agim said, “just put the best film out there so all 31 other teams see it, as well.”

They’ll be impressed, but it won’t matter. Agim isn’t going anywhere.

Both teams rested their starters in the preseason finale, and none of the four backup quarterbacks threw a touchdown.

Browning, whom the Broncos (2-1) moved from inside linebacker to the edge this year, stunted up the middle and nearly pried the ball from Mannion’s grasp himself as he swept past him in the final minute of the first half.

Agim was right there to slap the ball out as he wrapped up Mannion from behind for a 10-yard sack. Browning reached back, grabbed the ball with his right hand and zipped into the end zone to give Denver a 17-7 lead.

“That was a killer,” Vikings rookie head coach Kevin O’Connell said. “Sean’s trying to get ready check the ball down. We coach real hard to have two hands on it in the pocket.”

Mannion got the Vikings, who went winless in the preseason, to midfield for Greg Joseph’s 46-yard field goal as time expired, cutting Minnesota’s deficit to 17-10 at halftime.

Joseph’s 58-yarder five seconds into the fourth quarter made it 17-13 and the Vikings were driving again when safety rookie safety Dalarrin Turner-Yell returned from a concussion check to sack Kellen Mond on fourth-and-goal from the Denver 5.

Brandon McManus capped the scoring with a pair of field goals over the final 3:19.

With Kirk Cousins sitting out again, Mannion was 9-of-16 for 121 yards and Mond went 10 for 17 for 102 yards in the second half.

Like Cousins, Russell Wilson didn’t play at all in the preseason. Brett Rypien was 14 for 21 for 137 yards in the first half and Josh Johnson threw for 107 yards on 11-of-14 passing.

Wilson dressed out in full pads and even put on his eye black to watch the action from the sideline with Denver’s other resting starters were decked out in street clothes.

He also had a headset and a microphone to listen to rookie head coach Nathaniel Hackett calling the offensive plays and consulting with offensive coordinator Justin Outten.

“So, he got to hear how I talked to the coaches and how I call plays,” said Hackett, whose first real-game experience with Wilson will be in the opener at Seattle.

Rypien drove the Broncos to the Minnesota 8 on Denver’s opening possession but his throw over the middle to K.J. Hamler on first-and-goal was tipped by Myles Dorn and intercepted by Luiji Vilain.

Johnson drove Denver on a pair of drives that ended in field goals. McManus’ 40-yarder made it 20-13 with 3:19 remaining.

That’s when Denver’s defense, which collected five sacks, showed up again.

Rookie Nik Bonnito recorded consecutive sacks of Mond, Agim batted down his fourth-and-27 pass with 2:07 remaining, and Denver took over at the Vikings 8. McManus added a 31-yard field goal in the waning seconds.

Minnesota’s first touchdown came on Bryant Koback’s carry on fourth-and-goal from the 1. Officials initially ruled he was stuffed by Turner-Yell but the Vikings won the challenge, giving them a 7-3 lead.

Montrell Washington’s 11-yard TD on a reverse gave Denver the lead for good at 10-7.


The Broncos have been dreadful on special teams for several years and things didn’t look much different Saturday night as returner Jalen Virgil muffed the opening kickoff, knocking the ball out of bounds at the 2.

In the third quarter, Broncos snapper Jacob Bobenmoyer inexplicably carried the ball several yards across the goal line for a touchback that left punter Sam Martin perplexed as to why he didn’t just down the ball inside the 10.


Vikings: DL T.Y. McGill Jr. (ankle) and LB Troy Dye (foot) both were injured in the first quarter and didn’t return. WR Jalen Nailor was ruled out with a concussion early in the third quarter. WR Bisi Johnson left shortly thereafter with what O’Connell feared was a serious knee injury.

Broncos: WR Brandon Johnson (ankle) left in the first quarter.


The Vikings open the season at home against rival Green Bay on Sept. 11.

The Broncos open at Seattle in Wilson’s homecoming on Monday, Sept. 12.


More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Browning’s fumble return TD helps Broncos beat Vikings 23-13