DENVER – Kirk's cousins were perfect in his cameo, and then he stepped back and saw two former Broncos quarterbacks tear apart their old teammates.
Cousins completed all four of his passes in the Viking's 42-28 exhibition victory on Saturday night, including a 1-yard touchdown strike on a quick turn to Stefon Diggs.
"I think it was a smooth first ride, but it's a small sample and the next few weeks will be a good test for us," Cousins said.
Diggs called it a good first step.
"He's a good quarterback," said Diggs. "He's doing some great litters."
Case Keenum was not nearly as keen on his debut in Denver and only completed 1
"It's just frustrating not to play well and I do not have a chance to recover from it," Keenum said.
Cousins was the crown jewel of this year's free-agent class of quarterbacks and signed a three-year deal for $ 84 million in Minneapolis. That meant Keenum was out of the NFC championship two months after the Vikings were leading, and he signed a $ 36 million two-year deal with Denver.
The Broncos then swapped their starter, Trevor Siemian, for the Vikings to serve as cousins - as long as he beat Kyle Sloter – another former Denver QB.
Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly stayed in Denver for second place.
This preseason opener was full of quarterback intrigues
After cousin's single series – one in which he did not have to fight against Von Miller – Siemian led Minnesota with three goalscoring, especially with a pass on the screen to Roc Thomas, who struck the lightning for 78 yards
Siemian was 11 of 17 for 165 yards, two TDs and an interception against his old team.
"It was a little strange, but good to see old friends," said Siemian.
Lynch, the former first-rounder beaten twice by Siemian in Denver, was only 6 of 11 for 24 yards and an interception
"Obviously I'm upset," he said.
Despite 17 yards overall in the first half, the Broncos followed only 24-14 at halftime thanks to Isaiah McKenzie's 78-yard punt return for a TD and rookie Royce Freeman's 23-yard TD scamper – Denver was first first half before half time.
Just as the crowd began to moan, Siemian and Sloter lost, Kelly came to fuel the crowd.
Kelly threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to tight end Matt LaCosse. Among the songs of "Kelly! Kelly!" He also drove Denver 85 yards in 11 games and ended the ride with a 19-yard strike to drive back Phillip Lindsay to keep the Broncos on top 28-27 with 10 minutes remaining.
Sloter, who was cut by Denver a year ago, responded by throwing Chad Beebe a 6-yard touchdown pass that took six minutes to bring the Vikings back to the top. His strike on Jeff Badet for the 2-point conversion made it 35-28. Security Jack Tocho lifted Kelly to the Denver 30-yard line with 5:23 left, and Sloter sealed it with a 14-yard bootleg for
Sloter was 9 of 11 for 69 yards and Kelly was 14 of 20 for 176.
Lynch might lose in his fight to be the support, but he insisted he be "excited for Chad."  "Chad is playing really well and he deserves it," Lynch said. "He is a good kid."
Broncos coach Vance Joseph was not quite ready to take Kelly to second place and said he needed to study the film.
"Of course, Case is the starter, so my main concern," said Joseph. "Chad played well, he played well tonight, except for the only interception that has led to a score for these guys, he's a guy who plays with a lot of confidence, that's a good deal."
MCKENZIE MAGIC  Joseph's confidence in McKenzie eventually paid off with his return of points for a result.
"Huge for him," said Joseph, who stayed with McKenzie last year despite half a dozen fumbles. "He's obviously a talent, his problem last year was not talent, it was more decision-making and we're helping him fix that so he can help us win games."
Linebacker Brandon Marshall and broad receiver Demaryius Thomas were not with their teammates on the margin for the national anthem. They came out of the tunnel after the end of the anthem behind the Broncos Bank.
"We did not know anything about that," said Joseph. "But it's her right."
Broncos S Jamal Carter (thigh), CB Marcus Rios (hip) and TE Austin Traylor (right shoulder) were injured
Vikings: Host Jaguars on 18 August.
Broncos: Host bears on August 18th.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and https://twitter.com / AP-NFL
Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arnistepleton