On to round 3, the last round of just regular season games. Same as before, vote in the comments. See the bottom of this post for an explanation of the rest of the tournament and how we will add in playoff games.
1 NWE 30-24 11/29/2015
The Broncos were down 21-7 heading into the 4th quarter, in this snowy Sunday Night matchup between the 10-0 Patriots and 9-2 Broncos. Osweiler was filling in for an injured Peyton, in only his second start, and at that point was 15/29, for 132 yards.
The Broncos got their spark when the patriots muffed the punt, and the Broncos recovered. The Broncos went on to score 17 unanswered points, to give themselves a 3 point lead with 1:09 to go. Unfortunately, Brady lead the team on a 51 yard drive to get the game timing field goal. The Patriots received to start OT, but only moved backwards thanks to a Von Miller sack.
The Broncos had great field position, and 3 plays later CJ Anderson had a walk off 48 yard TD run to end the game. Highlights
13 NWE 34-8 11/17/1996
The Broncos dominated the eventual AFC Championship Patriots in Foxoboro. TD rushed for 154 yards and 2 TDs, and Elway added 2 more. This game is famous, for Shannon Sharpe’s, “We are killing the Patriots” comments. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxsHXuM6ah0. Boxscore
3 KAN 24-20 11/17/1991
The Broncos D forced 4 Steve Deberg Interceptions, including one by Atwater and 1 taken back for a TD by Charles Dimry. Elway struggled a bit, only going 9/20, for 134 yards, 1 TD, and 6 sacks.
15 DAL 42-23 9/13/1998
One of only 2 regular season game from 1998 to make this list. The Broncos embarrassed a good Cowboys team, with TD rushing for 191 yards and 3 TDs (breakaway TD runs of 63 and 59 yards), and Elway going an efficient 16 for 22 for 268 yards and 2 TDs. Aikman was knocked out of the game and Jason Garret filled in. Boxscore
1 CIN 20-17 12/28/2015
The Broncos even making the playoffs wasn’t guaranteed if the Broncos lost this game, and the Broncos found themselves down 14-0 early on. The defense finally put their hurt on, and a long CJ Anderson run helped the Broncos force OT despite a missed FG by McManus. The Broncos forced a turnover to end the game and clinch a playoff birth. Highlights. BoxScore.
4 SDG 35-24 10/15/2012
In what is arguably the greatest comeback in Denver Broncos history, the Broncos erased a 24-0 halftime deficit to win 35-24. At halftime, many were calling the Peyton Manning signing a mistake and to bring back Tim Tebow. In the second half, Manning completed 13 of 14 pass attempts for 167 yards and three touchdowns. The Broncos Defense also scored two second half touchdowns. Since this contest, the Broncos have gone a remarkable 34-11 in regular season play, which culminated in last season’s Super Bowl 50 victory. http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap1000000080941/Broncos-vs-Chargers-highlights. Andrew Mason recently wrote a great write-up about this game. https://twitter.com/MaseDenver/status/746466643606286336.
3 SEA 31-14 12/15/1984
Both teams came into this at 12-3, meaning the winner would be Crowned the AFC West champion. The Broncos rose to the occasion on the road, and overcame 4 John Elway interceptions by forcing 3 of their own, including 1 INT by Mecklenburg, and another by Foley that he returned for a TD to give the Broncos a commanding 24-7 lead.
7 OAK 27-24 11/13/2000
Monday night game against an Oak team that was the clear cut best in the league (they finished the year 12-4, with 2 losses coming against the Broncos). Greise got knocked out with a separated shoulder and came back to lead the team to victory. He talked after the game about hearing his shoulder pop in and out on certain throws. He lead the team on a 7 play 44 yard drive to give the Broncos the game winning FG and avoid OT with only 1:06 to go. The defense also forced 3 turnovers, including 2 Rich Gannon INTs.
8 OAK 30-7 10/16/1977
The undefeated 4-0 Denver Broncos headed into this game at Oakland to face a Raiders team, who was on a 17-game winning streak. The Broncos had their way the entire game, blowing out their most hated rival. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NmbtaU2TkE. Highlights commence at the 0:25 mark. And we all know what happened later that season against the Raiders in the 1977 AFC Championship Game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-_m4F_Ru4E.
[A couple more stats about this one. The Raiders entered this game averaging 26 pts/game and finished the year with the number one ranked offense in points, yards, and first downs. But the Broncos #1 D was so dominant, forcing 8 turnovers, that the Broncos only needed 200 yards and 8 first downs to put up 30 points.]
5 SEA 37-34 9/23/1979
Broncos were down 34-10 midway through the 3rd quarter before coming back to win this wild game. Broncos forced 4 turnovers, including 3 Jim Zorn picks. Down 24, Craig Morton entered in relief of Norris Weese, who started the game with 2 picks. The Broncos scored 21 points in under 2 minutes 34 seconds, a Broncos record that still stands. Running back Rob Lyte scored the game winning Touch Down, and handed the ball to Bob Peck, the Broncos PR director. Peck had an inoperable brain tumor, and would die a few weeks later. Read this Andrew Mason write up for the complete story.
3 WAS 31-30 12/13/1986
I was surprised to see you could find this entire game on youtube (2nd half). The Redskins jumped out to a 13-0 lead, but Elway rallied the team with 2 TDs. The Broncos clinched the AFC West with this win. The Redskins would go on to lose the NFCC 17-0 to the Giants, who would beat the Broncos in super bowl XXI, 39-20.
2 CHI 31-29 11/16/1987
From The Associated Press: John Elway won a game of dueling quarterbacks with Jim McMahon in Denver, throwing for 341 yards and 3 touchdowns Monday night as the Denver Broncos twice erased deficits to beat the Chicago Bears, 31-29. Elway brought the Broncos back from a 14-0 first-quarter deficit and from eight points back in the fourth, finally running the drive that culminated in Steve Sewell’s four-yard touchdown run with 4:58 left for the winning points. The final margin was two missed extra points by the Bears. Kevin Butler kicked one wide left, and another failed when holder Mike Tomczak fumbled the snap. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwkwYUqlZ3A.
1 RAI 22-19 10/28/1984
The 7-1 Broncos visited the 7-1 Raiders, and the Broncos entered the game as 6 point underdogs, despite beating the Raiders 16-13 a few weeks earlier. Elway was out, so Kubiak was called upon to face the tough Raiders defense. The Raiders sacked Kubiak for a safety early on, and built up a 12-0 lead. But Kubiak put up the best performance of his career, threw two 4th Quarter TD passes to tie the game, and drove the Broncos into position for the Game winning OT FG. The Broncos would finish the season 13-3, with an AFC West title. Boxscore
4 KAN 35-28 12/1/2013
From The Associated Press: In the words of Chiefs safety Eric Berry, Peyton Manning does not discriminate. If you’re playing wide receiver for the Denver Broncos, and you manage to get yourself open, you can bet that Manning is going to find a way to get you the ball. On Sunday, he rewarded Eric Decker all afternoon. Manning threw for 403 yards and five touchdowns, four of them to Decker, and the Broncos held off a rally to beat the Chiefs 35-28 (at Arrowhead Stadium) and seized control of the AFC West. http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000291066/Week-13-Broncos-vs-Chiefs-highlights.
3 GNB 29-10 11/1/2015
This Sunday Night home matchup featured two undefeated rivals. People thought the Broncos were a product of their soft schedule, and they entered as 2.5 home point underdogs. The entire team put their best foot forward as the Broncos sent a statement to the rest of the league.
The Broncos D put up their best regular season performance, holding the high powered Packers offense to an amazingly low amazing 140 yards, and Rodgers was held to just 77 yards. DT put up his best game of the season with 168 yards and 8 receptions. Ronnie Hillman had 2 TDs and CJ broke out of his slump with 100 yards rushing. Peyton put up his best performance of the year, with 340 yards passing on 21/29.
Additionally, Pat Bowlen was inducted into the ring of fame. I feel pretty lucky to have been at this game. Highlights
7 KAN 20-19 10/4/1992
The 3-1 Broncos hosted the 3-1 Chiefs at Mile High. The Chiefs were up 16-6 with 6 minutes to go when Neil Smith forced and recovered an Elway fumble, leaving the Broncos with grim odds. The D held KC to just a FG, but the Broncos were still down 13 with 5 minutes left to play.
But Elway did what he does best, leading a 14 play, 80 yard TD drive that was capped with a 25 yard TD pass to Mark Jackson. With the crowd buzzing, the Chiefs started deep in their own territory and the defense forced a quick 3 and out. A good punt return gave the Broncos the ball at the 27, and Elway needed only a few plays to find Vance Johnson for 6 points. Treadwell bounced the go ahead XP off the upright.
Elway had 311 yards passing and 2 TDs, with Sharpe coming down with 9 catches for 118 yards. See this awesome write up of the game I found on Predominately Orange.
I’m taking my girlfriend out to celebrate her birthday Tuesday Night, so I wont be able to pick this up til Wednesday Night. I’ll leave voting open until Wed at 8 pm.
Wednesday Night, I’ll post a new bracket, which will include the 20 Broncos playoff wins, and the 8 regular season games that remain after this round. Playoff games will be seeded first by round (conference championship highest, wild card lowest), and within each round, by how much the Broncos were underdogs/favored in the games (greatest underdogs get the highest seed). Playoff games will be seeded above regular season games. The first 4 seeds will get a bye in the next round to even out the bracket. I think this is where it will get really interesting.