Defense does enough to end Joshua Dobbs’ run




The Gazette, Colorado Springs


DENVER • It took the magic of Mile High to put an end to the wild run by Joshua Dobbs. Dobbs has been the story of the NFL season — leading the Cardinals to an improbable win over the Cowboys in September before getting traded to the Vikings last month and winning his first two games in Minnesota. The aerospace engineering major from his days at Tennessee seemed destined for another miracle win on Sunday night in Denver. But the Broncos defense got the last word in a thrilling, 2120 win, forcing a turnover on downs in the final minute to end the game. “Defensively, the way we played towards the end was significant,” Denver coach Sean Payton said. It wasn’t always easy, as Dobbs and the Vikings offense controlled the game with an efficient rushing attack, even holding the ball for over 34 minutes and finishing with nearly 400 total yards. Dobbs was elusive, avoiding a Jonathan Cooper sack to throw for the game’s opening touchdown and proving difficult for Broncos defenders to bring down. “He was tough to get down,” Payton said. “There’s so much that goes into playing that position and to see the poise he’s played with is really remarkable. I haven’t seen anything like it. It was just one escape after the other and finally, we got off the field.” Despite the clutch defensive stand to end the game, it was really the takeaways that proved to be the difference in Denver’s fourth win in a row. The Broncos forced four of them to beat the Bills last Monday and came up with another three in prime time this week. Second-year safety Jaquan Mcmillian had a pair of them on his own as he recovered a fumble on the opening possession and then came up with a key interception early in the fourth quarter. The offense only turned the three turnovers into nine points, but in a one-point game, it proved enough. Josey Jewell’s fumble recovery was sandwiched in the middle of Mcmillian’s two to give the Broncos 19 takeaways on the year. “You definitely don’t want to be those guys (not getting turnovers),” Jewell said with a laugh. The bend-don’t-break mentality has been effective in recent weeks and as long as they keep forcing turnovers, it might just lead them to a playoff spot. “I think it’s something these guys really buy into and they understand it’s the number one thing in this league,” Payton said. “It becomes a little contagious.” The 70-point debacle in South Florida is starting to feel like ages ago. “That seems like a long time ago, fortunately,” Payton said. “Guys have rolled up their sleeves and went to work and that’s all you can do in this league. I’m proud of the fight and the way these guys have prepared.”