1977 Denver Broncos Season
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1977 Denver Broncos Season

1977 Denver Broncos season
Head coachRed Miller
General managerFred Gehrke
Home fieldMile High Stadium
Results
Record12-2
Division place1st AFC West
Playoff finishWon AFC Divisional Playoffs (vs. Steelers) 34-21
Won AFC Championship (vs. Raiders) 20-17
Lost Super Bowl XII
(vs. Cowboys) 10-27

The 1977 Denver Broncos season was the team's 18th year in professional football and its eighth with the National Football League (NFL).

The team had by far its best season to date at 12-2, first in the AFC West, and made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. The Broncos earned home field advantage, and won its first two playoff games (over perennial AFC powerhouses Pittsburgh[1] and Oakland). With the AFC Championship win over the Raiders on New Year's Day,[2] Denver earned a berth in Super Bowl XII, but fell 27-10 to the NFC champion Dallas Cowboys.[3]

Still, 1977 was a major leap for the Broncos, who had never won more than nine games in a season. Coach Red Miller -- in his first season as the Broncos' head coach -- was named NFL Coach of the Year, and quarterback Craig Morton, age 34, was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year. The Denver defense was known as the Orange Crush, which delighted the makers of the soft drink, based in Illinois.[4]

Denver's 1977 season is chronicled in Terry Frei's 2008 book, '77: Denver, the Broncos and a Coming of Age.

Offseason

NFL Draft

1977 Denver Broncos draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 18 Steve Schindler  G Boston College
2 45 Rob Lytle  RB Michigan
4 101 Billy Bryan  C Duke
7 185 Larry Swider  P Pittsburgh
8 212 Calvin Culliver  RB Alabama
9 241 Charles Jackson  DT Washington
10 268 Oren Middlebrook  WR Arkansas State
11 297 Phil Heck  LB California
12 324 Scott Levenhagen  TE Western Illinois
      Made roster    +   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Personnel

Staff

Roster

Regular season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Game site Attendance
1 September 18 St. Louis Cardinals W 7-0 1-0 Mile High Stadium
75,002
2 September 25 Buffalo Bills W 26-6 2-0 Mile High Stadium
74,897
3 October 2 at Seattle Seahawks W 24-13 3-0 Kingdome
53,108
4 October 9 Kansas City Chiefs W 23-7 4-0 Mile High Stadium
74,878
5 October 16 at Oakland Raiders W 30-7 5-0 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
53,616
6 October 23 at Cincinnati Bengals W 24-13 6-0 Riverfront Stadium
54,395
7 October 30 Oakland Raiders L 14-24 6-1 Mile High Stadium
75,007
8 November 6 Pittsburgh Steelers W 21-7 7-1 Mile High Stadium
74,967
9 November 13 at San Diego Chargers W 17-14 8-1 San Diego Stadium
45,211
10 November 20 at Kansas City Chiefs W 14-7 9-1 Arrowhead Stadium
54,050
11 November 27 Baltimore Colts W 27-13 10-1 Mile High Stadium
74,939
12 December 4 at Houston Oilers W 24-14 11-1 Astrodome
46,875
13 December 11 San Diego Chargers W 17-9 12-1 Mile High Stadium
74,905
14 December 18 at Dallas Cowboys L 6-14 12-2 Texas Stadium
63,752
This was the last NFL regular season with 14 games: it was expanded to 16 games in 1978.

Season summary

Week 1

1 234Total
Cardinals 0 000 0
• Broncos 0 070 7

[5]

Week 2

1 234Total
Bills 0 600 6
• Broncos 3 7133 26
  • Date: September 25
  • Location:
    Mile High Stadium, Denver, Colorado
  • Game start: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 66 °F (19 °C); wind 11 mph (18 km/h)

[6]

Week 3

1 234Total
• Broncos 10 0140 24
Seahawks 7 060 13
  • Date: October 2
  • Location: Kingdome
  • Game weather: Indoors (dome)

Week 4

1 234Total
Chiefs 0 007 7
• Broncos 10 670 23
  • Date: October 9
  • Location: Mile High Stadium

Week 5

1 234Total
• Broncos 7 1463 30
Raiders 7 000 7

Week 6

1 234Total
• Broncos 7 1007 24
Bengals 7 303 13

Week 7

1 234Total
• Raiders 7 1070 24
Broncos 0 0014 14
  • Date: October 30
  • Location: Mile High Stadium

Week 8

1 234Total
Steelers 0 007 7
• Broncos 14 700 21
  • Date: November 6
  • Location: Mile High Stadium

Week 9

1 234Total
• Broncos 3 077 17
Chargers 7 700 14

Week 10

1 234Total
• Broncos 0 707 14
Chiefs 0 700 7

Week 11

1 234Total
Colts 0 3100 13
• Broncos 7 7013 27
  • Date: November 27
  • Location: Mile High Stadium

Week 12

1 234Total
• Broncos 0 1437 24
Oilers 0 770 14
  • Date: December 4
  • Location: Houston Astrodome
  • Game start: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 46,875
  • Game weather: Indoors (dome)

[7]

Week 13

1 234Total
Chargers 3 330 9
• Broncos 7 0010 17
  • Date: December 11
  • Location: Mile High Stadium

Week 14

1 234Total
Broncos 0 033 6
• Cowboys 7 070 14
  • Date: December 18
  • Location: Texas Stadium
  • Game start: 1:00 pm
  • Game weather: 52 °F (11 °C); wind 10 mph (16 km/h)
  • Referee: Jerry Markbreit
  • TV announcers (NBC): Jack Buck and Len Dawson

[8]

Standings

AFC West
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Denver Broncos(1) 12 2 0 .857 6-1 11-1 274 148 L1
Oakland Raiders(4) 11 3 0 .786 5-2 10-2 351 230 W2
San Diego Chargers 7 7 0 .500 3-4 6-6 222 205 L2
Seattle Seahawks 5 9 0 .357 1-3 4-9 282 373 W2
Kansas City Chiefs 2 12 0 .143 1-6 1-11 225 349 L6

Playoffs

Round Date Opponent Result Game site Attendance
Divisional Playoffs December 24 Pittsburgh Steelers W 34-21 Mile High Stadium
75,011
AFC Championship January 1 Oakland Raiders W 20-17 Mile High Stadium
74,982
Super Bowl XII January 15 Dallas Cowboys L 10-27 Louisiana Superdome
76,400

Divisional

1 234Total
Steelers 0 1407 21
• Broncos 7 7713 34
Source:[1][9][10]

Conference Championship

1 234Total
Raiders 3 0014 17
Broncos 7 076 20
  • Date: January 1
  • Location:
    Mile High Stadium o Denver, Colorado
  • Game start: 12:00 p.m. MST
  • Game attendance: 74,982
  • Game weather: 13 °F (-11 °C) o Wind 6 mph (10 km/h)
  • TV announcers (NBC): Dick Enberg and Len Dawson
Source:[2][11][12][13]
The Broncos defeated the Raiders in the AFC Championship Game to earn their first trip to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl

1 234Total
• Cowboys 10 377 27
Broncos 0 0100 10
Source:[3][14][15]
The Broncos playing against the Cowboys in Super Bowl XII.

References

  1. ^ a b Marshall, Joe (January 2, 1978). "That Crushmas spirit". Sports Illustrated. p. 14.
  2. ^ a b Jenkins, Dan (January 9, 1978). "Wholly Moses for Denver". Sports Illustrated. p. 14.
  3. ^ a b Jenkins, Dan (January 23, 1978). "Doomsday in the Dome". Sports Illustrated. p. 16.
  4. ^ "Broncos 'pay off' Crush". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). January 15, 1978. p. D1.
  5. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  6. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Dec-25.
  7. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-Dec-10.
  8. ^ Box Score
  9. ^ "Denver becomes the stealers and triumphs". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire service reports. December 25, 1977. p. 3C.
  10. ^ Brady, Dave (December 25, 1977). "Morton leads Broncos". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). (Washington Post). p. 1B.
  11. ^ "Broncos turn a dream into Super reality". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire service reports. January 2, 1978. p. 1B.
  12. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  13. ^ Howitt, Bruce (January 2, 1978). "Denver and Dallas in Super shoot-out". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. p. 1B.
  14. ^ "It's Doomsday for the Broncos". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire service reports. January 16, 1978. p. 1B.
  15. ^ "'Doomsday II' tames Broncos, XXVII to X". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. January 16, 1978. p. 1B.

External links


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