Denver Broncos: Recalling the 5 best season-opening wins in team history
No. 2: 1986 vs. Los Angeles Raiders
The Broncos’ greatest rivalry is against the Raiders and to this day, this stands as one of the best games the teams have ever played. It also happened to kick off the 1986 season.
The Broncos had a good team in 1985, going 11-5 but missing the playoffs. The Raiders won the division that year at 12-4 so this was a huge game to start the new year.
Denver kicked off the scoring with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Elway to Steve Watson, but the Raiders scored the next 19 points to take a 19-7 lead. Denver fought back and made it a back-and-forth affair before Elway found Gene Lang with a 7-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
The Broncos’ defense then held off the Raiders to hold onto a 38-36 victory in one of the wildest season-opening games in league history.
Elway had a big game for the Broncos, throwing for 239 yards and two touchdowns but Raiders quarterback Marc Wilson had an even bigger game in the losing effort, passing for 346 yards and three scores. Marcus Allen also went over 100 yards both rushing and receiving, but it was the Broncos that left with the big win.
This game would help pace the Broncos’ 1986 season and lead them all the way to the Super Bowl.