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Old 01-01-2012, 06:31 AM   #1
titan
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Default 34 years ago today - greatest bronco home win ever

January 1, 1978. It was a cold day in Denver (18 degrees) as the Broncos hosted the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Championship game. Oakland dominated the game early and took a 3-0 lead before this play changed the entire game:






I posted this video in 2010 as part of my own "top 12 bronco plays of all time series". To consider how big a play this was, go back to the atmosphere before that game. Yes the Broncos had an amazing season up until that point, a 12-2 season and a first round playoff win against the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers. But there was a lot of doubt as to whether the Broncos could really beat the Raiders this day. For one Craig Morton was hurting - bad. With a painfully bruised leg there were questions whether Morton would even play. The Raiders had also beat the Broncos convincingly in their matchup in Denver earlier that season (Raiders 24 Broncos 14 in week 7)

This play turned the whole game around. It gave the Broncos confidence that Morton could play, and play well, despite his injury. Morton and Moses went on to have a huge game (Moses scored twice on 168 receiving yards)

For me personally this was the greatest sports event I have ever attended in Denver. I was there for all the AFC Championship home games, for the many John Elway comebacks, for Eric Young's opening day homer, for the Avs beating the Devils in Stanley Cup game 7. None topped this game. The excitement in the South Stands that day is something I will never forget.

Today the Broncos play their second ever game on New Years Day. While not as big as that game 34 years ago, it's still big - a win and Denver gets to host a home playoff game for the first time since 2006. I think the key to today's game for the Broncos is what Oakland didn't do 34 years ago - get pressure on the quarterback. If Kyle Orton gets time to throw he's going to pick apart Denver's depleted secondary. On that cold January day in 1978 the limping Craig Morton was not sacked - one big hit would have put Morton out of the game.

Let's hope tomorrow we see a "playoff bound" headline celebrating a big Bronco win. On January 2, 1978 this was the headline in the Rocky Mountain News:

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Old 01-01-2012, 06:43 AM   #2
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I was seven years old and I remember it like it was yesterday. I had my orange crush T-shirt on and was watching the game with my little brother. We were so excited when Morton hit Moses our Mother came running into the room to make sure we were alright. The best part of that game was watching that fat bozo madden twist in the wind especially after Rob Lytle's alleged 'fumble'.


Years later I read Tom Jackson's biography where he states at the end of the game he picked up the football and showed it to madden and said "it's all over fat man"
....





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Old 01-01-2012, 06:46 AM   #3
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watched that game live ........ man the entire city was aglow , everyone was a real rocky mountain high after this game thats for dayum sure
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:55 AM   #4
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After that game I was like I was after we won our first SB, in shock. We were going to the SB! My moment was when Swenson got the INT in the 4th. I have been so disgusted with Raider fans over the years stating we didn't really win that game. The fumble happened in the 3rd quarter, it was only 7-3, and maybe if the Raiders hadn't argued the call so vehemently there wouldn't have been a penalty moving us closer and they had the entire 4th quarter to come back.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:30 AM   #5
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After that game I was like I was after we won our first SB, in shock. We were going to the SB! My moment was when Swenson got the INT in the 4th. I have been so disgusted with Raider fans over the years stating we didn't really win that game. The fumble happened in the 3rd quarter, it was only 7-3, and maybe if the Raiders hadn't argued the call so vehemently there wouldn't have been a penalty moving us closer and they had the entire 4th quarter to come back.
Ahhh, yes.....Raider fans will always complain about the non fumble call... but they always seem to conveniently forget the pass completion to jack dolbin (#82) that was ruled incomplete. Dolbin went low to catch a craig morton pass.... upon catching it, nobody touched him...he got up, and practically walked into the endzone. replays show he clearly caught the ball.....

so take away the touchdown we got with non fumble.... and give us the touchdown we didn't get with dolbin's catch, and you still have a 20-17 Broncos win.

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Old 01-01-2012, 09:34 AM   #6
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i got a dvd of this game!
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:39 AM   #7
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My dad brought home part of the endzone which we proudly cultivated for years in our backyard.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:46 AM   #8
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1977 saw the city of Denver go crazy mad over the Broncos....one guy was shot in bar cuz he played the jukebox during a bronco game telecast in the bar, and fans couldn't hear the game over the music
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:48 AM   #9
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1977 saw the city of Denver go crazy mad over the Broncos....one guy was shot in bar cuz he played the jukebox during a bronco game telecast in the bar, and fans couldn't hear the game over the music
the entire state was crazy .......good times
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:57 AM   #10
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I may have been conceived because of this game. Actually I wasn't but still cooler to say I was.

I have watched this game on DVD such a huge step for the Broncos and Denver in terms of football.

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Old 01-01-2012, 10:01 AM   #11
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I was -4 when this happened.


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Old 01-01-2012, 10:54 AM   #12
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Titan,

What are your other 11 greatest plays in Broncos history?

Let me take a stab at some...

1986 AFC Champ game vs Browns 3rd and 18 Elway pass to Mark Jackson. On this play, Elway was in the shotgun and ball grazed Steve Watson's hip as he was going behind center in motion.

1991 AFC Divisional playoff game against Oilers- 4th and 6, Elways scrambles to left sideline for 7 yards to keep drive alive. Also, 4th and 10, Elway scrambles left and hits Vance Johnson on left sideline 15 yards down field and Johnson rumbles on down the sideline all the way down to around the Oiler 20.

And of course, the Elway "Helicopter" in Super Bowl 32.

Can't wait to hear some of the others!
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:55 AM   #13
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i got a dvd of this game!
Where did you get this?
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:56 AM   #14
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We moved from Denver the year before and were living in Coldwater Michigan. Our dog got loose right around Christmas I had spent a solid week walking around the subdivision calling for him trying to find him.

The morning of the game our doorbell rang, 2 neighboor kids had found his body in a ditch by a field only a couple houses down, he had been hit by a car and was frozen solid. I am guessing he got hit soon after getting out the back door.

So here it was the game I had been looking forward to all my short life and all us kids are crying and wailing, spent most of the day trying to dig a hole in the frozen ground with my dad but once Denver took the lead my day got a lot better.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:26 PM   #15
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I forgot Dan Reeves (1st year) had coached when Morton was the starter in 1981 (replaced by DeBerg in 1982). The team went 10-6, 2nd in the West IN 1981.

I know this is not the year in the video, but I was just wondering if Morton and Reeves overlapped so I looked it up to remember.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:31 PM   #16
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Where did you get this?
go to Amazon.com and search for "Denver Broncos greatest games"
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:33 PM   #17
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I forgot Dan Reeves (1st year) had coached when Morton was the starter in 1981 (replaced by DeBerg in 1982). The team went 10-6, 2nd in the West IN 1981.

I know this is not the year in the video, but I was just wondering if Morton and Reeves overlapped so I looked it up to remember.
I was at the 1981 Broncos at Bears game, we needed that game to win the division, if we didn't win we lose out on the playoffs.

We got embarrassed by a bad Bear team.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:48 PM   #18
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Titan,

What are your other 11 greatest plays in Broncos history?

Let me take a stab at some...

1986 AFC Champ game vs Browns 3rd and 18 Elway pass to Mark Jackson. On this play, Elway was in the shotgun and ball grazed Steve Watson's hip as he was going behind center in motion.

1991 AFC Divisional playoff game against Oilers- 4th and 6, Elways scrambles to left sideline for 7 yards to keep drive alive. Also, 4th and 10, Elway scrambles left and hits Vance Johnson on left sideline 15 yards down field and Johnson rumbles on down the sideline all the way down to around the Oiler 20.

And of course, the Elway "Helicopter" in Super Bowl 32.

Can't wait to hear some of the others!
Those were memorable plays, but other than the "helicopter" they didn't make my top 12. These are my top 12 bronco plays of all time, and I have a little bias towards some of the old stuff since I started watching the Broncos as a kid in the late 60's:

#12 Morton to Dolbin clinching td in first playoff game 12/24/77 (posted this one last week)
#11 Elway to Ricky Nattiel TD first Bronco offensive play of the Redskins Super Bowl
#10 Long Gradashar interception return td vs the Browns
#9 Louie Wright returns a block fg for a td vs the Chargers in OT
#8 Orton to Brandon Stokely to beat the Bengals opening day 2009
#7 Champ picks off Tom Brady in AFC Playoff game 2006
#6 This Morton to Moses TD AFC Championship game 1978
#5 Elway to Mark Jackson to end The Drive with a TD
#4 Elway to Rod Smith TD in the Atlanta Super Bowl
#3 Jim Turner scores on a fake field goal right before the half vs the Raiders 1977
#2 Floyd Little comes back after being "fired" by Lou Saban to catch a long pass from Marlin Briscoe to setup the winning field goal vs Buffalo 1968
#1 The Helicopter (Elway in SB 32)

I posted all of these in multiple threads back in the spring of 2010.
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:32 PM   #19
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go to Amazon.com and search for "Denver Broncos greatest games"




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