Denver Broncos: 16 Memorable Season Openers

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Nov 17, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) breaks the tackle of Denver Broncos defensive end Shaun Phillips (90) in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 31st, 1997

In the aftermath of the most heartbreaking playoff lost to that point in Denver Broncos’ history at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars, it was incumbent upon the newly branded, predominantly orange clad Broncos to dispel Shannon Sharpe’s prediction of the Jaguars loss setting the franchise back ten years. They welcomed in the Kansas City Chiefs, with whom they shared dominance of the AFC Western division for the better part of 8 years. The eventual 1997 AFC West Champion Chiefs came into Mile High Stadium and stared across the offensive line of scrimmage at a familiar face, Neil Smith. Though Smith would not register a sack, the Chiefs double-teamed and in some cases, triple-teamed the perennial pro-bolwer. That did not keep him from harassing the K.C. QB, Elvis Grbac, which opened up opportunities for 3 Broncos’ sacks; one for Tyrone Braxton and two for Maa Tanuvasa. Denver started off their first Super Bowl Championship season with a 19-3 punch to the grill of their divisional rivals