Originally written on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 11/18/14
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Elway during the '86 AFC Championship Game. Photo by Vernon Biever/WireImage.com

We are entering the “dead zone” of the football season.  Not much going on and utter boredom for those of us who are the one sport kind.  What better way to pass the time than to relive some of the greatest plays in Denver Broncos history?

This initial post will cover the “best of the rest” plays that made the final cut down, but did not crack the top 5.  My wholly bias and completely unscientific voting system mixed in WOW factors, impact to the game, the importance of the game itself, as well as, my own fan bias of games that left an indelible impression on my fandom.

We’ll start with the Best, best of the rest with the 1986 AFC Championship game.  That’s right, The Drive.

Situation: AFC Championship Game. 3rd and 18 with 1:47 left on the clock.

The Play: The snap hits Steve Watson in the hip, John Elway barely grasps the ball and fires a bullet to Mark Jackson for the first down.

This game will always be remembered as one of the greatest playoff games in NFL history.  The drive itself is more spectacular when the entire game is watched, but it is the drive that is always remembered.  That 3rd and 18 play is easily the defining moment of The Drive and catapulted the Broncos to the Super Bowl.  It would also be the beginning of Elway’s legend.

The video below provides a deeper look at The Drive, but the play in question can be seen at the 4:55 mark.

Situation: Super Bowl 32. Less than 3 minutes to go with the score tied.

The Play: A swing pass to Howard Griffith that Eddie McCaffrey broke wide open with a textbook block on Green Bay Packers linebacker Brian Williams.

Looking back, the Broncos probably would have scored somehow, someway even if Eddie Mac hadn’t made this block, which is the only reason why its here with the best of the rest plays.  The Packers defense wasn’t going to stop anyone at that point in the game, but this play was still good enough to make my top 10.

I could have just slapped in a video of the block, but we’re here to reminisce as much as we are here to examine a single play – so here is a career highlight video of Eddie Mac.  The play in question is at the 58 second mark.

Those two just missed the top 5.  To round out my best of the rest plays, here are some links to the plays in question.

  • Rod Smith 80 yard TD pass from John Elway in Super Bowl 33
  • A Floyd Little pass against the Oakland Raiders in 1972 helped catapult the Broncos to their first victory of their hated rival in over a decade
  • Tim Tebow 20 yard TD run to stun the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football
  • Rod Smith first catch is a Hail Mary to beat the Washington Redskins
  • John Elway nearly gets sacked by a Seattle Seahawks defender, only to duck and then fire a 50 yard TD strike to Shannon Sharpe
  • Ironically, I could have just made my list exclusively from this video

I hope you all enjoyed this post.  We’ll be posting #5 through #1 starting tomorrow and ending on Friday.

Go Broncos!

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