ABOUT THE BRONCOS
• Denver (3-6) returns from a bye week after a 24-19 win against the Browns that was QB Brandon Allen’s first NFL start in place of the injured Joe Flacco (neck), who is out for the season.
• The Broncos have won three of their past five games behind a defense surrendering only 11.3 points per game in those wins against the Browns, Chargers and Titans.
• All-Pro edge defender Von Miller doesn’t have the sack totals (four in nine games) this season, but he’s still one of the NFL’s most disruptive pass rushers. Only four edge defenders have more quarterback pressures than Miller (48), according to Pro Football Focus, including the Vikings’ Danielle Hunter (64) and Everson Griffen (56).
• After trading wideout Emmanuel Sanders to San Francisco on Oct. 22, two Broncos — second-year receiver Courtland Sutton and rookie tight end Noah Fant — have been funneled targets (56% of Denver’s throws).
PLAYER SPEAK | QB BRANDON ALLEN
• Allen, a 2016 sixth-round pick out of Arkansas, will make his second NFL start Sunday against the Vikings. The former Jaguars and Rams backup completed 12 of 20 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns in his debut against the Browns.
• Allen, 27, was waived by the Rams after the preseason and claimed by the Broncos on Sept. 1, the same day Denver placed second-round rookie QB Drew Lock on injured reserve (thumb injury).
• Broncos coach Vic Fangio on Allen: “He’s got good quarterback instincts for a guy who hadn’t taken a snap in an NFL game. He came in and played decently in his first start at home, that tells you something about him.”
• Vikings coach Mike Zimmer on preparing for Allen: “It’s difficult, because he hasn’t been there the entire time. Him being different and just trying to restudy everything that he’s done, it’s more difficult having that small of a sample size.”
COACH SPEAK | VIC FANGIO
• Vic Fangio, the former Bears and 49ers defensive coordinator, is one of eight first-year NFL head coaches. His 3-6 record (. 333) is good enough for third among them, trailing only the Packers’ Matt LaFleur (8-2) and the Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury (3-6-1).
• Fangio, 61, worked for seven NFL teams across three decades before earning his first head coaching job last offseason. He’s overseen a top-10 scoring defense in six of the past eight seasons, and he’s on pace to do so again with the Broncos’ sixth-ranked group.
• On his defense the past five weeks (278 yards per game): “You’re going to play better as the season goes on and guys get accustomed to playing in the new system. We’ve got a couple guys playing a lot of football for us who weren’t even in training camp. That’s slowed us down some, and we’ve had some injuries.”