2012 Denver Broncos: A Historical Run

USA TODAY Sports

Only the seventh time an AFC team has won the last eleven games of the season.

Broncos fans everywhere have reveled in Denver's eleven game winning streak. They have enjoyed watching their favorite team go from 2-3 to 13-3 and securing the #1 seed in the AFC. What makes this run to the post season remarkable is not just the fact that Denver won their final eleven games of the season, but that they are the only sixth team since the Broncos were founded in 1960 to accomplish such a feat (though the Patriots have done so twice). Three of their six predecessors went on to the Super Bowl following their eleven game streak. Two of those three won the Super Bowl. Let's take a look at these seven teams who closed out their seasons with an eleven-game winning streak.

Let's start by looking at the 2012 Broncos.

2012 Denver Broncos
The Broncos started the 2012 season with a 2-3 record before going on their eleven game tear. They defeated the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs twice each. Their remaining victories came against the New Orleans Saints, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns.

Their average margin of victory was 16.4 points. The Broncos won all eleven games by seven or more points. Denver outscored their opponents 206-98 (+108) in the second half of games during that streak.

The other five teams (New England managed the feat twice) were:

1972 Miami Dolphins
To be fair: the 1972 Dolphins went undefeated -- so their eleven game close-out streak came after a 3-0 start.

They defeated the New York Jets, Baltimore Colts, Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots twice each. Their remaining victories came against the San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Cardinals and New York Giants.

Their average margin of victory was 16.5. The Dolphins had nine games decided by seven or more points. Miami outscored their opponents 150-55 (+95) in the second half of games during that streak.

The Dolphins defeated the Cleveland Browns 20-14 in the Divisional round. A 21-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game put Miami in Super Bowl VII. The Dolphins downed the Washington Redskins 14-7 in the NFL's championship game.

1993 Houston Oilers
The Oilers started the 1993 season with a 1-4 record. They defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns twice each. Their remaining victories came against the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers and the New York Jets.

Their average margin of victory was 14.2 points. The Oilers had nine games decided by seven or more points. Houston outscored their opponents 119-75 (+44) in the second half of games during that streak.

The Oilers made it into the playoffs but lost 28-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional round.

2003 New England Patriots
The Patriots began the 2003 season with a 3-2 record before winning their last eleven games (technically they closed the season with a twelve game winning streak). They defeated the Miami Dolphins twice. Their remaining victories came against the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets and Buffalo Bills.

Their average margin of victory was 9.8 points. The Patriots had five games decided by seven or more points. New England outscored their opponents 108-66 (+42) in the second half of games during that streak.

The Patriots defeated the Tennessee Titans 17-14 in the Divisional round. A 24-14 victory over the Indianapolis Colts put New England in Super Bowl XXXVIII. The Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers 32-29 in the NFL's championship game.

2004 Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers started the 2004 season with a 4-1 record. Their loss came in Week 2, so their eleven game streak came as part of a larger 14-0 run. Their wins came against the Dallas Cowboys, the New England Patriots, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Washington Redskins, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Jets, the New York Giants, the Baltimore Ravens and the Buffalo Bills.

Their average margin of victory was 9.4 points. The Steelers had six games decided by seven or more points. Pittsburgh outscored their opponents 105-79 (+26) in the second half of games during that streak.

The Steelers defeated the New York Jets 20-17 in the Divisional round. Pittsburgh fell to the New England Patriots 27-41 in the AFC Championship game.

2007 New England Patriots
The Patriots streak came as part of their larger, undefeated season. They defeated Miami twice. The other ten victories came against the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins, the Indianapolis Colts, the Buffalo Bills, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Baltimore Ravens, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Jets and the New York Giants.

Their average margin of victory was 18.0 points. The Patriots had seven games decided by seven or more points. New England outscored their opponents 166-93 (+73) in the second half of games during that streak.

The Patriots defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-20 in the Divisional round. New England next beat the San Diego Chargers 21-12 in the AFC Championship game. Their undefeated season came to an end when the Patriots were defeated 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII by the New York Giants.

2009 San Diego Chargers
The Charger started the 2009 season with a 2-3 record. They defeated the Kansas City Chiefs twice. The remainder of their victories came against the Oakland Raiders, the New York Giants, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Denver Broncos, the Cleveland Browns, the Dallas Cowboys, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Tennessee Titans and the Washington Redskins.

Their average margin of victory was 14.0 points. The Chargers had seven games decided by seven or more points. San Diego outscored their opponents 157-107 (+50) in the second half of games during that streak.

The Chargers fell to the New York Jets 17-14 in the Divisional round.

In summary, how do the 2012 Broncos stack up against the other six seasons?

Team Started Ave MoV Win by 7+ Pt Diff in 2nd Half Postseason
'12 Broncos 2-3 16.4 11 +108 To be determined
'72 Dolphins 3-0 16.5 9 +95 Won SB VII
'93 Oilers 1-4 14.2 9 +44 Lost in Divisional round
'03 Patriots 3-2 9.8 5 +42 Won SB XXXVIII
'04 Steelers 4-1 9.4 6 +26 Lost in AFC Championship
'07 Patriots 5-0 18.0 7 +73 Lost in SB XLII
'09 Chargers 2-3 14.0 7 +50 Lost in Divisional round



Here's to hoping that the Broncos go on to imitate the 72 Dolphins and 03 Patriots.

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