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Mile High Morning: What's the Broncos' greatest win ever?


The Lead

Here's an interesting question, via CBS Sports: What's each team's greatest victory?

Broncos fans, of course, have a lot to choose from. There are the three Super Bowl wins, the eight AFC Championship titles and plenty more of memorable games.

For his part, CBS Sports’ Bryan DeArdo picked Super Bowl XXXII for Denver, with Super Bowl 50 coming in as a runner-up.

"Denver's first Super Bowl win was historic. The Broncos' dethroning of the Packers was at the time the second-greatest upset in Super Bowl history. It also ended the NFC's 13-game winning streak over the AFC in Super Bowl competition. John Elway, after three prior Super Bowl losses, was hoisted on his teammates' shoulders after winning his first ring. The MVP award went to Terrell Davis, who rushed for 157 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries despite missing most of the second quarter with a migraine headache."

It's hard to argue with that — and if I were to make my own selection, I'd pick the same game. But I'll offer a couple of additional runners-up that aren't Super Bowl victories.

1986 AFC Championship

If there was one moment when John Elway went from promising young star quarterback to bonified legend in the making, it was this game. Down 20-13 in the fourth quarterback, Elway famously marched Denver 98 yards downfield during "The Drive" for a game-tying touchdown pass to force overtime. Then, the Broncos won it on a Rich Karlis field goal to return to the Super Bowl for the first time in about a decade.

1977 AFC Championship

There may be an argument to be made here for this as the greatest win in franchise history, as it signified the downtrodden franchise's turnaround into a contender. Until 1973, the Broncos had never had a winning season, and they had not won the division nor made the playoffs until the 1977 season. In that magical year, led by the famed "Orange Crush" defense, Denver flew past previous team records to win 12 games. After beating the Steelers to open the playoffs, the Broncos hosted their division rival Raiders in the AFC title game. Despite Ken Stabler leading a furious fourth-quarter comeback, the Broncos escaped with a win behind two touchdowns from Craig Morton to Haven Moses. An electric and rowdy Mile High Stadium crowd erupted as they realized their beloved Broncos were headed to the Super Bowl for the first time.

Below the Fold

In reviewing the coaching moves of the past year or so, 9NEWS’ Mike Klis sees an expansion of Head Coach Vic Fangio’s defensive system across the NFL unlike few in recent memory. "The last time the NFL saw a system mushroom like this, Bill Walsh was immortalized as the primary designer of the West Coast offense," Klis wrote.

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