3. 1969, Week 2: Broncos 21, Jets 19
Back to the AFL we go. As has been well documented, the Broncos were not very good prior to 1977. In 1969, Denver was still very much a league bottom-feeder. Led by running back Floyd "The Franchise" Little, the Broncos could be exciting at times, but the team was not doing much winning. That's what makes this 21-19 upset over the defending Super Bowl champion Jets all the more impressive.
Led by Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath, the Jets played like the Super Bowl champions early on, jumping out to a 13-0 first quarter lead. Then, something spectacular happened; a little bit of Mile High Magic. Led by Floyd Little's 104 rushing yards, the Broncos put up 21 unanswered points between the beginning of the second quarter and the tail end of the fourth against the defending champs.
Denver's first touchdown was a one-yard plunge by Little, it's next two were bombs of 23 and 41 yards from quarterback Pete Liske to receivers Mike Haffner and Al Denson. With the Broncos holding a late 21-13 lead, the Jets managed to score one more touchdown to make it a two-point game. Of course, this was decades before the two-point conversion was introduced to the sport, so Denver's 21-19 lead was kept safe and sound.
This game was the Broncos' first ever victory over a defending Super Bowl champion, and one of its best wins of the 1960s, making it easily one of its greatest games versus the Jets. It's fun to look back at games from this often overlooked era of Broncos football. While the franchise had some difficult times during the early days, there are some absolute gems hidden in the rough.