Broncos greatest games, Round 7

Although only one contest was unanimous, we had no upsets in Round 6, so we are down to the top 4 seeds.  4 games left. Vote in the comments.

1 CLE 23-20 01/11/87

The Drive.  After a 48 yard TD pass by Bernie Kosar, the Broncos found themselves trailing 13-20 in Cleveland, with 5 minutes to go and the ball on their own 2 yard line.  The Cleveland fans were quite rowdy, but Elway did, what he does best.

“I suddenly flashed on something I was thinking about before the game,” Elway said later. “Great quarterbacks make great plays in great games. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?”
Elway marched the team down the field, on a 15 play drive, including a 3rd and 18 conversion, and a 3rd and 2 conversion to get their first first down.  Elway found Jackson from 5 yards out on 3rd and 1 to tie the game at 20. The Broncos would go on to win the game in OT, and send both Elway and Bowlen to their first super bowl. Elway finished 22/38 for 244 yards, with 1 TD and 1 INT, and Sammy Widner had 83 yards rushing.  The Broncos D forced 3 turnovers, including two picks.

HOF write up   Complete Drive on youtube.

4 OAK 20-17 01/01/78

Despite a poor day from Broncos’ veteran kicker Jim Turner, who missed three field goals and had an extra point blocked, Denver converted two second half turnovers into touchdowns to edge out the defending Super Bowl champion Raiders. In the second half, Oakland . . . seemed primed to drive for a leading touchdown, but before they could get out of their own territory, Denver linebacker Bob Swenson made a clutch interception and returned the ball 14 yards to the Oakland 17-yard line. Two plays later, Haven Moses made a sliding 12-yard catch of Craig Morton’s pass in the end zone, putting the Broncos ahead 20–10 after Turner’s extra point was blocked. Oakland struck back with an 8-play, 74-yard drive to score on a 17-yard touchdown catch to make it 20–17 with 3:16 left in regulation, but the Broncos’ held the ball for the rest of the game and ran out the clock. Moses was responsible for most of Denver’s 217 yards gained through the air, finishing the game with 5 receptions for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Morton completed 10/20 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns, with one interceptions.

Arguably, this was by far the Broncos’ most significant win in franchise history until their Super Bowl XXXII victory. Extended game highlights are available at The full game is available at

3 PIT 24-21 01/11/98

After the Broncos demolished the Jags, and upset the Chiefs, the Broncos were still 1 point underdogs to the Steelers, who had beaten Denver 35-24 five weeks earlier.

With the score 14-10, Elway lead two late 2nd quarter drives to give the Broncos a 24-14 lead at the half.  The Broncos offense struggled in the 2nd half, but their D made up for it. The Broncos forced a total of 4 turnovers, including 3 Kordell Stewart interceptions, several of which were deep in Broncos territory.  The Steelers scored with just under 3 minutes to go to pull within 3, but Elway and company put together a drive to seal the game.  This drive included a 3rd down conversion to Shannon Sharpe, where Elway apparently told Sharpe to “just get open” rather than running a scripted route.  Elway through a bootleg to McCaffrey on the next play to end the game.

“All week long we heard about how good the Steelers were, how they had the Big Three of Kordell Stewart, Yancey Thigpen and Jerome Bettis,” said Broncos cornerback Darrien Gordon. “They were being compared to Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris and John Stallworth. We heard about how tough it was to win here because the ghosts of past greats haunted the place. Where were the ghosts today?”

Baltimore sun Piece with great player quotes.  Loss described by a Steelers  fan.    Complete game on youtube

2 NWE 20-18 01/24/16

From The Associated Press: When Peyton Manning was watching games from the locker room a few months ago, none of this seemed possible. Manning, back on the field, playing the role of the most decorated game manager in history.

Manning churning his 39-year-old legs around right end for a 12-yard gain and a first down. Manning back in the Super Bowl. The strangest season of No. 18’s Hall of Fame career will play itself out all the way to the last game. Manning and the Denver Broncos are heading to the Super Bowl, thanks to his efficient offense and a big-play defense that saved a 20-18 victory over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Von Miller finished with 2½ sacks and an interception. The Broncos harassed Brady all day. He finished 27-for-56 for 310 yards and two picks for a passer rating of 56.4. The Broncos’ defense hit Brady at least 20 times on the day. NFL Game Day highlights are available at A condensed, full game is available at The CBS Sports’ broadcast in its entirety is available at

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Lifelong Broncos fan and current Engineer living and working in Denver.