Recalling the best Broncos victories over each division rival

The Denver Broncos have had some unforgettable battles against the Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers.

Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Raiders
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Broncos, Raiders
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Denver Broncos' biggest wins over the Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders are still the team's biggest rival and the games between the two usually bring out some of the most hotly-contested games each and every season.

Though the losing streak to the Raiders is not quite as bad as the one to the Chiefs, the Broncos have still lost the last six games against the silver and black.

But here are three happier memories.

January 1, 1978

45. Final. 17. 28. 1978. 20

It only makes sense that when the Broncos clinched their first trip to the Super Bowl, they had to first go past the Raiders to do so.

Prior to the 1977 season, the Broncos had never even been to the playoffs. In the divisional round, they had to go past the Pittsburgh Steelers, the most dominant team of the 1970s. Then, they faced this game with the Raiders.

Though the Broncos had the better record that year, the Raiders were the more experienced team and they had dominated the series between the two up to that point, so it was expected by most that they would win.

But the Orange Crush defense wasn't having it as they dictated the pace to the Raiders on that day en route to one of the most memorable wins in team history.

September 7, 1986

36. 28. 1986. 38. 45. Final

This was the way the 1986 season started and it remains one of the greatest battles between these two teams. The Broncos were able to outlast the Raiders in the shootout.

Marcus Allen registered 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving for the Raiders in this game, but it still wasn't enough.

Elway threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to running back Gene Lang in the fourth quarter to provide the decisive score.

December 24, 1995

28. Final. 31. 45. 1995. 28

Though the Broncos were not a great football team in 1995, this was a momentous win in the team's history.

It was Mike Shanahan's first season as the team's head coach and they came into this game at 7-8, facing the team he once coached, and had a bad falling out with. The games against the Raiders that year felt personal for Shanahan. They beat the Raiders 27-0 in the first meeting between the teams that yeasr but this one would allow them to finish the year at .500.

Elway threw for 320 yards in the game and Jason Elam booted a 37-yard field goal with just 48 seconds remaining to break a tie and put the Broncos up 31-28. They held on to get the win and it felt like much more than just any win.

It provided something that the team could build upon and it did just that as the Broncos from 1996-98 were one of the more complete teams that the NFL has ever seen.