The NFL released its 2011 schedule on Tuesday evening, and I immediately became excited as I saw the Broncos’ opponent in Week 1 – the Oakland Raiders! Not only has the NFL scheduled the Broncos’ arch rival in Week 1, they have the Raiders traveling to Denver for a Monday Night Football showcase. It will be a long time before any of us Bronco fans forget the schellacking the Raiders handed the Broncos during week 7 of the 2010 season. Unfortunately, as I think about that game, other games come to mind where the Broncos did not perform anywhere close to expectations, and the final score proved it.
If you’re old enough, you will remember Halloween night in 1988 when the Broncos traveled to Indianapolis and lost 55-23 as Eric Dickerson rushed for four touchdowns. The next football season following this less than stellar performance ended in another blowout and this one cost the Broncos an NFL Championship. Joe Montana passed for five touchdowns, as the San Francisco 49ers easily won Super Bowl XXIV 55-10.
So, I have to wonder, which of these games causes the most pain to diehard Bronco fans? It is never good to lose on MNF, and it is definitely a downer when you lose in the Super Bowl. These arguments, albeit very valid, don’t compare to losing to the Raiders by 45 points in your home stadium. The Broncos have been given a chance for redemption – let’s hope John Fox and John Elway can assemble a football team and rally them to a victory for every Bronco player, past and present, as well as every Bronco fan that watched the Raiders beat the Broncos 59-14 on October 25, 2010.
Like it says on the jumbo screens at Mile High Stadium, the message is simple – We Must Protect This House!
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