Favorite Broncos Holiday Football Memories!!!
I'm talking about the holidays between Thanksgiving and New Years Day obly. Not really interested in great Labor Day or Halloween performances.
But list your favorite "stuck around the TV, and the food and beer tastes a little better cause the Broncos rocked" holiday performances.
Here are mine:
1. Craig Morton New Years Day 1978 - Morton was hospitalized all week and leaves the hospital the day before and leads the Broncos to their first ever AFC Championship. Morton throws two TD's to Moses and converts several key first downs. More than anything he inspires a team with his bravery under extreme injury conditions.
2. Tom Jackson Christmas Eve 1977 - In addition to several big hits, TJ makes 3 turnover plays with a fumnble recover and return, as well as 2 Interceptions. Jackson's fumble recovery sets up Denver's 2nd TD. And his two 4th Qtr. Interceptions set up the final 10 Broncos points to clinch their first ever playoff win.
3. John Elway Christmas Eve 1995 - Elway at his "never give up" best, as he rallies the Broncos in the 4th quarter from a 28-17 defecit, to a 31-28 victory. Elway throws for 300 + yards and 2 TD's, while also scoring an important 2PT QB Draw to tie the game late. Al Davis chokes on his Wheat Germ as the Raiders get a big ole lump of Orange coal in their stockings.
4 Haven Moses New Years Day 1978 - same as the above game but Moses plays the game of his life. 5 catches for nearly 170 yards and 2 TD's. All 5 receptions result in big gainers, TD's or first downs, including an amazing sideline juggling catch to keep a drive alive after the Raiders had closed the gap to 14-10.
5. Otis Armstrong Thanksgiving 1974 - Armstrong starts his legendary season ending run in this game, as he goes from the 5th leading rusher in the AFC to the NFL's leading rusher over the course of 4 weeks. This was the first of those 4 games. Armstrong shimmy's, head fakes and shoulder bobs his way to 145 yards and a TD, but demoralizes the Lions with great moves all day long. This was not the way the Lions wanted to finish their last ever football game in Tiger Stadium as the Broncos win 31-27.
6. Olandis Gary Christmas 1999 - Olandis goes for nearly 190 yards and a TD for a major bright spot, in an otherwise lousy season. Olandis had great back to back games to finish the season over 1,100 yards.
7. John Lynch New Years Eve 2005 - Lynch has 5 tackles, 2 Monster sacks and 2 Forced Fumbles in this game. Drew Brees is injured on one of those blitzes and a new era is started in San Diego.
8. Randy Gradishar Thanksgiving 1978 - wearing the awesome Orange Pants, the Broncos tank Offensively and fall to the Lions 17-14. But Gradishar has an incredible 20 Tackle game, including 12 First Hits. Amazing production.
9. Aaron Craver 1995 Christmas Eve - with TD and Glyn Milburn out for the year, Shanahan moves Craver from the Fullback spot to Tailback. Craver responds with over 100 yards and a TD in the aforementioned great win.
10. Champ Bailey Thanksgiving 2005 - the one TD given up was a thing of beauty and deception between Keyshawn and Bledsoe. But Champ's game changing Pick Six was the kind of play that got you out of your chair screaming.
I'm sure I am missing many as I am doing this off memory.
Fill in some blanks and may there be some new holiday legends tomorrow!!! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!