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On This Day in Broncos History: October 24

Denver-Cleveland, an understated rivalry


October 24, 1971: Denver played it’s first game game in Cleveland against the Browns and upset the former NFL team 27-0. The 1-3-1 Broncos had traveled to Cleveland to take on the 4-1-0 Browns. The Broncos controlled the game through a dominating rushing attack -- they rushed for 280 yards and a rushing touchdown. This rushing attack was led by Floyd Little (113 yards), Bobby Anderson (71 yards and a touchdown) and Fran Lynch (53 yards). Denver QB Don Horn completed 8 of 16 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown. The scoring was rounded out by LB Fred Forsberg’s Pick-6 and two Jim Turner field goals. The Broncos defense added a total of 3 interceptions (2 plus Forsberg’s), 4 sacks and a fumble recovery. The defense also held the Browns to 105 yards of total offense -- which when you subtract the 45 yards lost to the 4 sacks, gave Cleveland a net yardage for the game of just 60 yards.

This win set the stage for the dramatic AFC Championship game in 1987 which gave Broncos history "The Drive." For although, Cleveland won the next two meetings (1972, 1974), the Broncos went on to win the next eight meetings from 1975 to The Drive on January 11, 1987.

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