Denver Broncos: 16 Memorable Season Openers

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Sep 23, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball (28) against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 37-21. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 6th, 1981

After a transformative four years under Red Miller, 3 of which ended in post season berths, Owner, Edgar Kaiser and the Broncos’ front office decided to make a change after a disappointing 8-8 1980 campaign. The 1981 season opener, a 9-7 victory over the hated Raiders ushered in the unprecedented success of the Dan Reeves era. Reeves would lead the Broncos to a 2-game improvement from 1980 and a second place finish. Unfortunately, a 10-6 record was not good enough to overtake the San Diego Chargers and qualify for the playoffs. The irony is that Denver needed help on the final Monday Night Football game of the season from of all teams, the Raiders. To that point, no team had basked in the bright lights of MNF more than Oakland. However, a 23-10 victory by the 10-6 Bolts left us out of the playoff party.