The Athletic is back with another of their remarkable oral histories.
This time, with The Athletic counting down the best comebacks in sports, it's all about the five minutes and change in which John Elway led the Broncos on The Drive, as the 98-yard march to a game-tying fourth-quarter touchdown in the 1986 AFC Championship Game is commonly known.
Featuring commentary from the game's key figures — including Elway, receiver Mark Jackson, linebacker Tom Jackson, then-head coach Dan Reeves, then-offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan and many others — the article proceeds mostly one play at a time.
As offensive players like Elway, Mark Jackson or Gary Kubiak provide insight into each play, Tom Jackson also is an important voice as a spectator on the sideline letting us into his mind as he saw momentum shift from certain defeat to impossible victory.
"This is going to sound as though I'm trying to wax poetic and I'm not — there was something in [Elway's] eyes after he got about the second first down that absolutely was who he was," Jackson told The Athletic's Lindsay Jones and Mike Sando. "It was about who he was; it was about what he was, and we all found out. His greatness literally was revealed to us within that five and a half minutes."
The consequences for the team and its star quarterback are obvious enough when you consider what makes "The Drive" so memorable, but just as unforgettable is the atmosphere. It's hard to tell the story of The Drive without mentioning the raucous Dawg Pound crowd tossing dog bones on the field (and batteries and sandwiches, too, apparently) as the offense walked to the 2-yard line.
When you take it all into account, you have one of the best comebacks of all time in all of sports — though Broncos fans probably won't agree with its ranking at No. 19.
Below the Fold
In a game or in a practice, going one-on-one with Von Miller can be a humbling thing. But during training camp, Miller is always generous enough to share his thinking to help Broncos players. 9NEWS' Mike Klis spoke with him to get his thoughts on teaching young players with learning experiences at practice. "At the end of the day it's not about me and him,'' Miller said. "It's about Elijah [Wilkinson] versus Joey Bosa. It's about Elijah versus Melvin Ingram. It's Elijah versus Frank Clark."
The cancelation of the 2020 preseason slate may not have a huge effect on the Broncos' veterans, but it will be felt by the legion of players on roster bubbles — especially those who were undrafted, as The Denver Post's Ryan O'Halloran writes. "I feel really bad for those guys." Todd Davis, himself a former undrafted player, said. "I was one of those guys who really needed that fourth preseason game. If I didn't have that, I may not be on a team today."