Let’s be honest: The 2009 Denver Broncos season is not one we often wish to recall or remember. In fact, it may be a season fans try harder than most to forget about.
Of course, we know the 2009 Broncos’ season as the Josh McDaniels year. Or, perhaps, the season where the Denver Broncos saw themselves finish at a record of 8-8. Considering recent finishes for the Broncos, this may not seem so dismal. However, it is when you consider that the team started off 6-0.
At this point, we do not need to rehash all of the many negative aspects of that season. Instead, let’s turn our focus to one positive.
The 2009 season was the last time the Denver Broncos appeared in a game on Thanksgiving Day. They hosted their first Thanksgiving game in Denver since 1963 and hosted the New York Giants.
As you enjoy your Thanksgiving day and all of the food and fun it has to offer, here is an opportunity to take a trip down memory lane and relive the Broncos’ last Thanksgiving game appearance.
In their first season without head coach Mike Shanahan, at the Thanksgiving Day game, the Denver Broncos had lost four straight after starting the season off winning their first six games. However, even if just temporarily, the Broncos were able to set the ship straight once again with a decisive 26-6 victory over the Giants, setting the Broncos at a 7-4 record.
Looking back on this game will be sure to give Broncos Country a lot of nostalgia, especially considering that safety Brian Dawkins got his defensive unit fired up in this matchup, and had taken matters into his own hands to correct a locker room that was starting to stumble. Of course, it is difficult to channel into words just how intense of a player Dawkins was, or the fire he displayed both off and on the field.
On the offensive side of the ball, Kyle Orton was still under center for the Denver Broncos and finished the day with 245 pass yards, one touchdown and one interception. Knowshon Moreno rushed for 88 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries. Brandon Marshall was the Broncos’ leading receiver on the day. However, Matt Prater was the workhorse of the day, kicking four field goals, accounting for 12 of Denver’s 26 points.
On the defensive side, guys like Dawkins, Champ Bailey, Elvis Dumervil and Wesley Woodyard were the Broncos’ playmakers. On this particular day, Dumervil was the man with two sacks, one a strip-sack, extending his season sack total to 14, leading the league. The Broncos’ defense was also able to record three takeaways on the day.
Overall, while the 2009 season was certainly not a fun season for Broncos Country to relive, Thanksgiving games are always a special tradition to be a part of, and though the team didn’t win many more once they hit their infamous skid, this was a fun game that now is a nice memory to relive, with many notable Broncos greats.
Hopefully, we will see the Denver Broncos on the Thanksgiving primetime slate in the near future. Perhaps if the Denver Broncos did pursue a quarterback such as Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson in the offseason, the Broncos could even be a candidate as early as 2022.
Until then, on this special holiday, we will have to continue to look back on their previous performances. With the Broncos’ dominant performance in this 2009 appearance, it’s a safe bet to enjoy highlights with your dinner and pie.
All stats per ESPN.