Little Known Broncos Facts: 100-yard Rushers in the 1980s

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 18: Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos and running back Willis McGahee #23 of the Denver Broncos run through the tunnel before taking on the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

On November 6, 2011, in a game at Oakland, the Denver Broncos accomplished something unusual: RB Willis McGahee and QB Tim Tebow each rushed for over 100 yards in a game that Denver went on to win 38-24. McGahee gained 163 yards on 20 carries and scored 2 touchdowns. Tebow added 118 yards on 13 carries. McGahee scored his first touchdown on a 60-yard scamper that tied the score at 24-24. He added a 24-yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter. The two of them accounted for all but 18 of Denver's 299 rushing yards. This marked only the fifth time in franchise history that a pair of players each rushed for 100 or more yards in a single game.

The other games were:

Date Opponent Score Player Rush-Yds-TDs Notes
Nov 24, 1974 @Oakland Den 20, Oak 17 Otis Armstrong 29-146-0 The two accounted for all of Denver's 292 rushing yards
Jon Keyworth 15-148-1 Keyworth's TD opened the scoring; the two totaled 294 rushing yards but QB Steve Ramsey lost 2 yards on a rush
Dec 12, 1976 @Chicago Den 28, Chi 14 Otis Armstrong 26-116-1 Armstrong's TD run broke a 14-14 tie in the 4th quarter
Norris Weese 12-120-0 1st Broncos QB to rush for 100+ yards in a game; the two accounted for 236 of Denver's 356 rushing yards
Dec 27, 1997 Jacksonville Den 42, Jac 17 Terrell Davis 31-184-2 playoff game; Davis' 2 TDs both came in the 1st half
Derek Loville 11-103-2 Loville's 2 TDs came in the 4th quarter and turned a 21-17 game into a rout; the two accounted for 287 of Denver's 310 rushing yards
Oct 30, 2005 Philadelphia Den 49, Phi 21 Mike Anderson 21-126-1 Anderson's 1st quarter TD opened the scoring
Tatum Bell 14-107-2 Bell's 2 4th quarter touchdowns blew open a 28-21 game; the two accounted for 233 of Denver's 255 rushing yards

Take a jump and read about 100-yard rushers of the 1980s.

The 1980s started slowly when it came to 100-yard rushers for the Broncos. The 1980, 1981 and 1982 seasons saw just two games with 100-yard rushers. Both of those games came in the 1980 season and both were accomplished by Otis Armstrong. Armstrong's first 100-yard game of the decade came on October 13, 1980 when the Redskins came to Denver. Armstrong rushed 22 times for 107 yards and 1 touchdown in a game that the Broncos won 20-17. Two weeks later, on October 26, 1980, Armstrong had his second 100-yard game. This one came on the road against the New York Giants. Armstrong's 25 carries for 106 yards and 1 touchdown helped the Broncos get past the Giants 14-9.

1983 saw the emergence of another 100-yard rusher for Denver. Second-year RB Sammy Winder had the first of what would become 8 100-yard games in the 1980s on September 25 in game versus the Los Angeles Raiders in Denver. Winder rushed 20 times for 119 yards in a 22-7 losing effort. Winder's second 100-yard game came on October 9 when the Broncos traveled to the Houston Oilers. Winder turned 29 carries into 165 yards. Denver won the game 26-14.

Winder added two more 100-yard games to his total in 1984. The first came on September 23. The Chiefs had come to town and Winder rushed through them for 139 yards on 31 carries and scored a touchdown as Denver went on to win 21-0. A month later on October 28, the Broncos traveled to Los Angeles to play the Raiders. This time Winder carried the ball 34 times and gained 126 yards. Denver defeated Los Angeles 22-19.

Winder's fifth 100-yard game came in 1985. On September 29, he put on a 20 carry for 103 yards and 2 touchdowns in a game that Miami won 30-26.

100-yard games #5 and #6 occurred in 1986 for Winder. On September 21, in a road game in Philadelphia, Winder carried the ball 20 times, gained 104 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. Denver won the game 33-7. Technically, Winder's second game of this season took play in 1987. Denver finished the 1986 season with an 11-5-0 record and in 1st place in the AFC West. Denver went on to become AFC Champions in the playoffs that followed that season. For that reason, this game is included with the 1986 season. As part of those playoffs, on January 4, 1987, the Broncos hosted the New England Patriots in a Divisional round game. Winder gained 102 yards on 19 carries in a game that the Broncos won 22-17.

The Broncos repeated as AFC Champions in 1987 but the Broncos only saw one 100-yard game. Undrafted rookie RB Joe Dudek in one of the only two games that he played as a Bronco (or as a member of any team for that matter) gained 128 yards on 23 carries and scored 2 touchdowns in a game against the Los Angeles Raiders. Denver won that home game 30-14.

1988 was an interesting year for the Broncos. Sammy Winder returned to form to gain the last of his eight 100-yard games and the Broncos received future Hall of Fame RB Tony Dorsett from the Cowboys for a conditional 5th round draft pick. Dorsett gained 100+ yards twice in his first -- and only -- season as a Bronco. On September 11, Dorsett helped Denver defeat San Diego 34-3 by rushing 23 times for 113 yards and a touchdown. Two weeks later, Dorsett had a second 100-yard game. On September 26, the Raiders came to Denver. Dorsett carried the ball 32 times, gained 119 yards and scored 2 touchdowns in a losing effort as the Raiders won the game 30-27.

In 1989, rookie RB Bobby Humphrey burst onto the Broncos scene by having five 100-yard games. Humphrey's first 100-yard game came on October 8. Denver hosted San Diego. Humphrey rushed 23 times for 102 yards and a touchdown in a game that Denver won 16-10. On November 5, he added his second 100-yard game when Denver defeated the Steelers 34-7. In that game, Humphrey rushed 25 times for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns. Humphrey's third 100-yard game came two weeks later on November 20. Denver traveled to Washington. Humphrey's 110 yards on 31 carries helped the Broncos down the Redskins 14-10. The Broncos went on the road to play the Raiders in Los Angeles on December 3. Humphrey had 31 carries and gained 125 yards in a game that Denver lost 16-13. Humphrey's final 100-yard game of the 1980s came on December 16 when the Broncos faced the Cardinals in their second season in Phoenix. Humphrey added 128 yards on 23 carries as Denver dominated the Cardinals 37-0.

By the Numbers


1980s Overall
Total # games 152 436
Games w/100-yard rusher 18 54
Record in those games 14-4-0 40-13-1
Home games 11 29
Home record 8-3-0 21-7-1
Away games 7 25
Away record 6-1-0 19-6-0

100-yard Games

Player 1980s Overall
Sammy Winder 8 8
Bobby Humphrey 5 5
Otis Armstrong 2 13
Tony Dorsett 2 2
Joe Dudek 1 1
Floyd Little 0 15
Jon Keyworth 0 2
Rob Lytle 0 2
Cookie Gilchrist 0 2
Billy Joe 0 2
Bobby Anderson 0 1
Joe Dawkins 0 1
Norris Weese 0 1
Donnie Stone 0 1

Records Against Opponents

Team 1980s 1980s Home 1980s Away Overall Overall Home Overall Away
Washington 2-0-0 1-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0 1-0-0 1-0-0
San Diego 2-0-0 2-0-0 0-0-0 6-1-0 6-0-0 0-1-0
New York Giants 1-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 1-1-0 0-0-0 1-1-0
Houston Oilers 1-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 5-0-0 2-0-0 3-0-0
Kansas City 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 3-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0
Philadelphia 1-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 1-1-0 0-0-0 1-1-0
New England 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 4-0-0 2-0-0 2-0-0
San Francisco 1-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 1-1-0 0-0-0 1-1-0
Pittsburgh 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-1 1-0-1 0-0-0
Phoenix Cardinals 1-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0
Oakland 2-3-0 2-2-0 0-1-0 3-4-0 2-3-0 1-1-0
Miami 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 1-1-0 1-1-0 0-0-0
Chicago 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 2-0-0 1-0-0 1-0-0
Indianapolis 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0
Detroit 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0
Tampa Bay 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0
Green Bay 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0
Cleveland 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 1-1-0 0-0-0 1-1-0
Cincinnati 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 1-1-0 0-1-0 1-0-0
Minnesota 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-0-0
New York Jets 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 2-2-0 2-1-0 0-1-0

Next Up: 100-yard rushers of the 1990s

Go Broncos!!!!

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