It has been 13 years since the Denver Broncos played a game on Thanksgiving Day. On November 26, 2009, the team achieved a dominant victory over the New York Giants.
The Broncos have played 11 times on Thanksgiving across their history and have just a 4-7 record. While the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions play on the holiday every season as a tradition, the Broncos have gone over a decade since making an appearance.
This was the first time the Broncos had hosted a game on Thanksgiving Day since 1963, back in their AFL days.
The 2009 season was a memorable one. That was the year that Josh McDaniels was the team’s head coach and got the Broncos off to a 6-0 start. But after winning six in a row, they went on a four-game losing streak.
The Giants came to Invesco Field on Thanksgiving Day sporting an identical 6-4 record. Like the Broncos, the Giants had gone through a four-game losing streak that season but were able to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime the week before to snap that.
The Giants had gone 12-4 the previous season and still had one of the game’s better quarterbacks in Eli Manning. On paper, it looked like a great matchup.
But the Broncos played excellent team football and were able to easily beat the Giants in this one to end their losing streak.
The Broncos controlled the clock with a running game led by Knowshon Moreno and Matt Prater kicked four field goals. Defensively, Elvis Dumervil had two sacks, including one that resulted in a fumble and the Broncos defense came up with three turnovers.
The win got the Broncos to 7-4 on the season. Sadly, they lost four of their final five games to finish the season 8-8, outside the playoffs.
Still, this was one of the best wins during the short-lived McDaniels era and it marks the last time Broncos fans were able to enjoy their Thanksgiving feast and their team playing football on the same day.