As the Denver Broncos prepare to take on the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football, we take a look back at five of the best wins for the Broncos on the longest running series in prime time television. The Broncos have won a lot of big games on Monday nights and your list maybe different, but here’s a look.
5) New York Giants-20 at Broncos-31 -9/10/2001- It was the night before the worst tragedy in American history, it was also the last sporting event for a week although no one knew it at the time. The Broncos played their first game at their new stadium and played well in a win over the defending NFC champions. Bronco’s wide receiver, Ed McCaffrey broke his leg and that was thought to be the worst news of the day for Broncos’ fans when they woke up on September 11th. Then they turned on the TV, and life had changed forever.
4) New England Patriots-14 at Broncos-34- 10/6/1997- The battle of the two 5-0 teams was never a game. It was built up as the game of the year between the two favorites in the AFC but the Broncos dominated from start to finish. Terrell Davis ran all over the Patriots and the defense also threw in a touchdown. The Broncos would go onto finish 12-4, and win their first Super Bowl.
3) Oakland Raiders-0 at Broncos-27- 10/16/1995- In an otherwise average season for the Broncos, this was the highlight. Mike Shanahan had been fired by Al Davis and the Raiders a few years earlier, and the bad blood was evident. The Broncos had really struggled with the Raiders in the years leading up to this one but it all changed with this one win on Monday night. There are reports that Shanahan and John Elway were so ecstatic with the win that the two of them went to Shanahan’s house after the game, and watched the tape. That was the first win of many over the Raiders in the Shanahan era.
2) Green Bay Packers-14 at Broncos-17 10/15/1984- The game was played in an October blizzard and had it not been for the first two offensive plays for the Packers, they probably win the football game. The Broncos scored their only two touchdowns of the night on fumble returns for scores on the Packers first two plays. Outside of those plays, the Packers dominated the game but could not overcome the 14-0 hole. On a side note, the ski areas in Colorado reported a dramatic increase in call volume in the days following the Monday night blizzard.
1) Chicago Bears-29 at Broncos-31 11/16/1987- The defending AFC champions were off to a sluggish start at 3-3-1, and looking for a spark. Head coach, Dan Reeves gave them one by turning loose the offense. Elway was in the shotgun more and the offense was opened up. Elway, obviously thrilled with the new approach, played some of his best football. The Broncos scored late and hung on for a two point victory over the NFC power, and that set the team off on a seven game winning streak. The Broncos won their second straight AFC Title before losing in the Super Bowl. The question that has gone unanswered to this day is why did that offense go away after the 1987 season? The only person who knows, Reeves, has never answered the question and probably never will.
Those are my top moments for the Denver Broncos in the 43 year history of Monday Night Football, but there are many more. What are yours?
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