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A Sweep of the Division?

Will the Broncos End Up 6-0 in the AFC West?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

What an exciting time to be a Bronco fan. Not only is Denver riding an eight game winning streak, they are also looking at an opportunity to sweep all three of their current divisional opponents (the "current" is there in recognition of the fact that at one time or another, we have also had the Seattle Seahawks, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in our division). I was texting with one of my daughters after the Thursday victory over the Raiders and she posed this question:

"When was the last time we swept both the Chargers and the Raiders in the same season?" That started me thinking about divisional sweeps, so I decided to do a little research.

The 2012 sweeps started with the Week 11 game against San Diego. Denver had defeated the Chargers 35-24 in Week 6 in San Diego. Remember that game? The one that saw the Broncos rally from a 24-0 deficit at halftime for the win. The one that kicked off the current eight game winning streak. The game that was a defining moment in the Broncos' 2012 season. Then, in Week 11, Denver hosted the rematch. The score may have been a bit closer, 23-13, but the result was the same: a victory.

The 2012 season marks the fifteenth time in franchise history that the Broncos have swept the Chargers. The first time was way back in 1962 when Denver opened the season with a 30-21 win then went on to beat San Diego in Week 9 by a score of 23-20. The other seasons include:

1973 Home 30-19 Away 42-28
1975 Away 27-17 Home 13-10
1976 Home 26-0 Away 17-0
1977 Away 17-14 Home 17-9
1984 Away 16-13 Home 16-13
1987 Away 31-17 Home 24-0
1988 Home 34-3 Away 12-0
1991 Home 27-19 Away 17-14
1997 Away 38-28 Home 38-3
1998 Home 27-10 Away 31-16
2000 Away 21-7 Home 38-37
2003 Away 37-13 Home 37-8
2005 Home 20-17 Away 23-7

The 2012 sweeps continued with Denver's Week 14, 26-13 defeat of the Raiders in Oakland. The Broncos had beaten the Raiders 37-6 in Week 4 in Denver. Now, of course, my daughter's question had been about the last time we swept both the Chargers and the Raiders. In looking it up in the Broncos' Media Guide, I discovered that this last happened in 2005. Not only that, but I also discovered that Denver has now swept Oakland fifteen times in franchise history.

As with the Chargers, that set of sweeps began in 1962 when Denver defeated Oakland on consecutive weekends. In Week 5, the Broncos won 44-7 in Denver. The following week, they traveled to Oakland and won 23-6. The other seasons include:

1978 Home 14-6 Away 21-6
1981 Home 9-7 Away 17-0
1984 Home 16-13 Away 22-19
1986 Home 38-36 Away 21-10
1987 Home 30-14 Away 23-17
1995 Home 27-0 Away 31-28
1996 Away 22-21 Home 24-19
1998 Away 34-17 Home 40-14
1999 Away 16-13 Home 27-21
2000 Away 33-24 Home 27-24
2003 Home 31-10 Away 22-8
2005 Away 31-17 Home 22-3
2006 Home 13-3 Away 17-13

The 2012 season marks the eighth time that the Broncos have swept both the Chargers and the Raiders in a single season. Those seasons were:

1962 2000
1984 2003
1987 2005
1998 2012

Denver has positioned itself for their first divisional sweep since 1998. In Week 12, the Broncos scraped past the Kansas City Chiefs 17-9 in Kansas City. If the Broncos defeat the Chiefs in their Week 17 game in Denver it will mark just the third time that they have swept all three current divisional opponents in the same season. As a footnote: in 1987, the Broncos defeated all three of their current divisional rivals but dropped a game to Seattle to go 7-1 in the division while in 1998, Denver went 8-0 in the division.

Interestingly enough, Denver has only swept Kansas City eleven times prior to 2012. If it happens in this season, it will be just the twelfth time that Denver has won both games. Unlike the Chargers and Raiders, Denver did not sweep the Chiefs during their AFL days. The first season that the Broncos won both games against Kansas City did not come until 1976. In that season, Denver won 35-26 in Kansas City, then won 17-16 in Denver in Week 13. The other seasons include:

1977 Home 23-7 Away 14-7
1978 Away 23-17 Home 24-3
1979 Away 24-10 Home 20-3
1985 Away 30-10 Home 14-13
1987 Away 26-17 Home 20-17
1989 Home 34-20 Away 16-13
1991 Home 19-16 Away 24-20
1998 Away 30-7 Home 35-31
2002 Away 37-34 Home 31-24
2007 Away 27-11 Home 41-7

So now, we have to wait and see. Here's to the belief that we will see the first divisional sweep since 1998. Go Broncos!!!!!