Denver Broncos Countdown to Kickoff: 86 Days

"The Drive" No two sweeter words exist in the minds of Broncos fanatics everywhere. 98 yards, improbable, but not impossible. For John Elway this was the moment that defined his career--this was the game that showed everyone he belonged.


As you watch, here is a detailed play by play courtesy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Play No. 1 - First and 10, Denver 2-yard line. Elway faked a handoff to Gerald Willhite, then passed to Sammy Winder for five yards.

Play No. 2 - Second and 5, Denver 7-yard line. Winder, on a pitchout, ran for three yards.

Play No. 3 - Third and 2, Denver 10-yard line. Denver calls time out. Winder ran over left guard for two-yard gain and a first down.

Play No. 4 - First and 10, Denver 12-yard line. Winder carried over left tackle for three yards.

Play No. 5 - Second and seven, Denver 15-yard line. Forced out of the pocket, Elway scrambled for 11 yards and a first down on the Denver 26.

Play No. 6 - First and ten, Denver 26-yard line. Elway completed 22-yard pass to Steve Sewell for a first down on the Denver 48.

Play No. 7 - First and ten, Denver 48-yard line. Elway completed pass to Steve Watson for a 12-yard gain and a first down at the Cleveland 40.

Two-minute warning

Play No. 8 - First and ten, Cleveland 40-yard line (1:59 remaining).
Elway's pass intended for Vance Johnson is incomplete.

Play No. 9 - Second and ten, Cleveland 40-yard line (1:52 remaining).
Elway sacked for 8-yard loss by Dave Puzzuoli.

Play No. 10 - Third and 18, Cleveland 48-yard line (1:47 remaining).
Elway completed pass to Jackson for 20-yard gain and first down to the Cleveland 28.

Play No. 11 - First and 10, Cleveland 28-yard line (1:19 remaining).
Elway pass intended for Watson is incomplete.

Play No. 12 - Second and 10, Cleveland 28-yard line (1:10 remaining).
Elway pitched a strike to Sewell for 14 yards and a first down on the Cleveland 14.

Play No. 13 - First and ten, Cleveland 14-yard line (:57 remaining).
Elway pass intended for Watson is incomplete.

Play No. 14 - Second and 10, Cleveland 14-yard line (:42 remaining).
Elway flushed from the pocket and ran nine yards to the Cleveland 5.

Play No. 15 - Third and one, Cleveland 5-yard line (:39 remaining).
Elway went to the air for the ninth time in the drive and hit Jackson for the tying touchdown. Rich Karlis adds PAT.

What always gets me about that footage is watching Pat Bowlen cheer on his team and John Elway. You know he loves and cares about his football franchise. The crazy thing about the drive more than anything is that it only tied the game. They still had overtime. After receiving the opening kick, Elway marched another 60 yards to put Rich Karlis in range for a game winning kick. The barefoot kicker delivered and sent the Broncos to their 2nd superbowl in franchise history.

Many players have a moment in time when they realize their potential. Playmaker, leader, field general is what Elway became this day. Though it was just the beginning of a tough but beautiful professional career, John Elway came of age. Here's to the Duke!

More: 87 Days: The Fumble


Cool 86 Factoid

The Broncos played their eventual super bowl foe the NY Giants in New York on November 23rd. Just as in the super bowl, they lost. The first time around the score was 9-3.

Notable Broncos to wear #86:

Byron Chamberlain 1995-2000

Current Broncos wearing #86:

N/A

Read More: Denver Broncos by the numbers #86 (Kaptain Kirk)


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