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Broncos' opener vs. Los Angeles Chargers shares similarities with 1962 opener

Broncos fans, you get the first official look at the Los Angeles Chargers.

When the Broncos kick off the 2017 season, they'll do so with a "Monday Night Football" date with the recently relocated franchise. That game, which will wrap up Week 1 of the NFL's schedule, will be the first regular-season contest for the Los Angeles Chargers since their inaugural season in 1960.

Just one year after the Chargers moved to San Diego, the Broncos hosted the Chargers in a night game to kick off the season. Fifty-five years ago, the Broncos welcomed the then-San Diego Chargers for a kickoff game similar to the one they'll play in 2017.

When the Chargers come to Denver this September, Vance Joseph and Anthony Lynn will take their respective sidelines as head coaches for the first time. On Sept. 7, 1962, the same was true for Denver's Jack Faulkner, who would be named AFL Coach of the Year at season's end.

That's not all that was new for the Broncos when they showed up for the start of the 1962 season. The Friday night game marked the debut of Denver's orange and blue uniforms.

This season, the Chargers are unveiling a new logo. They'll also play in a temporary home at the StubHub Center. Fifty-five years ago, the Broncos' stadium was unavailable. Instead of playing at Bears Stadium, they opened at the University of Denver's Hilltop Stadium.

One thing hasn't changed: games sell out in Denver. That game in 1962 was full with an estimated 28,000 in attendance. Within a few seasons, that became commonplace. This year's opener will mark the 48th-straight sellout season for the Broncos.

The players weren't nearly as nationally known in 1962 as Von Miller's is now, but they were among the best in Broncos' history.

But Gene Mingo, a future Ring of Famer, scored 18 points on a rushing touchdown, three field goals and three extra points.

"Rocket Al" Frazier rushed for 72 yards for the Broncos and future Ring of Famer Frank Tripucka completed 28 passes for 376 yards for Denver.

The Broncos won, 30-21, and Denver was officially baptized in orange and blue.

We do not know what history will be made on opening night this year, but the excitement will be just as palpable for the fans at home and in the stands.

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