DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 12: Willis McGahee #23 of the Denver Broncos runs the ball as Jerome Boyd #30 of the Oakland Raiders goes for the tackle in the first half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 12, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Willis McGahee amazed Broncos fans when he exploded onto the scene with the Broncos. You may recall that McGahee was criticized in some circles as being on the downhill side of his career and there doubts expressed by some as to whether or not he had anything left to give to the Broncos. Yet, he rushed for 1199 yards, 4 touchdowns and had seven 100-yard games.
One must go back to 2003 to find another Broncos runner who has logged as many, or in this case more, 100-yard games in a season as McGahee did in 2011. That 2003 player was Clinton Portis who logged ten 100-yard games in that season.
McGahee and Portis, however, are but two of the players who have rushed for 100 or more yards in a single game. Some of them have rushed for over 100 yards in multiple games and in multiple games in a single season. In this Little Known Facts series, we will be taking a look at those players who have logged 100 or more yards in a single game.
In this edition: the 100-yard rushers of the 1960s (and yes, there were some).
Take the jump
It is not surprising that in Denver's first three seasons, the Broncos could not boast of a 100-yard runner in a game. Needless to say the lack of a ground game contributed to Denver's poor records in those three seasons -- they posted 4-9-1, 3-11-0 and 7-7-0 records in 1960, 1961 and 1962.
Denver had played sixty-six games before they first saw a running back break the 100-yard mark for a game. It came on the fourth game of the 1963 season. The Broncos hosted the San Diego Chargers on October 6. On Denver's second series of the game, RB Donnie Stone took the ball up the middle for a 2-yard gain -- a small start. Stone went on to carry the ball 16 more times and finished with 104 yards and a touchdown. Denver won that game 50-34. Six games later, on November 17, the Broncos hosted the New York Jets and Billy Joe became the 2nd Broncos running back to surpass the 100-yard mark in a game. Sadly, the Broncos lost that game 14-9, despite Joe's carrying the ball 20 times for 105 yards.
The Broncos had to wait another thirteen games before seeing another 100-yard rusher. On November 15, 1964, Joe had his second 100-yard game when he rushed 16 times for 108 yards. Interestingly enough, this came against the New York Jets also, but this time the Broncos won 20-16.
In 1965, the Broncos added two more 100-yard efforts to their record book. Both came on the legs of FB Cookie Gilchrist. Gilchrist's first 100-yard game came on September 24 when the Broncos traveled to Boston to take on the Patriots. Gilchrist turned 32 rushes into 142 yards in a game that Denver won 27-10. Seven games later, Denver took on the Houston Oilers in Houston. Gilchrist rushed 16 times for 119 yards. The Broncos won that game 31-21.
Denver did not see another 100-yard rusher until the seventh game of the 1968 season. On October 27, 1968, the Broncos hosted the Miami Dolphins. Second-year running back Floyd Little recorded his first 100-yard game by turning 25 carries into 126 yards and a touchdown. Denver won the game 21-14. A week later, in a game against the Patriots in Boston. Little carried 30 times for 147 yards and a touchdown in a game that Denver won 35-14.
Little added three more 100-yard games during the 1969 season. On September 14, he rushed 21 times for 105 yards and a touchdown in 35-7 victory over the Patriots in Denver. A week later on September 21, Little earned 105 yards on 15 carries and scored a touchdown as the Broncos defeated the visiting New York Jets 21-19. A month later, Little had his third 100-yard game of the season against the Bengals in Cincinnati. He rushed 29 times for 166 yards and a touchdown as the Broncos defeated the Bengals 30-23.
By the Numbers
|Total # Games||140|
|Games w/100-yard Rusher||10|
|Record in those games||9-1-0|
|Player||# 100-yard games|
|New York Jets||2-1-0||0-0-0|
Next Up: 100-yard rushers of the 1970s