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The 1963 Denver Broncos marked the beginning of a decade of struggle

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The wheels finally came completely off in 1963 for the Denver Broncos as a decade-long streak of despair would go into full swing going 2-11-1 on the year. It wasn’t all bad. Well, maybe it was all bad.

In just a few short years, the entire thought of having a franchise called the Denver Broncos would be called into question. Frightening considering how loyal the fans are today. More on that later, though.

In 1963, the team was simply awful. Frank Tripucka would play in just two games and retire, marking the end of any hope of a serviceable quarterback in Denver for the next decade.

Early in this season, it appeared as though the Broncos might be on the way to righting the boat. After an 0-2 start, Denver eked out a 14-10 win over the Boston Patriots, then put up one of their greatest offensive efforts in franchise history when they posted 50 points against the San Diego Chargers to even their record at 2-2. Sadly, they failed to win another game for the rest of the season.

There were just two bright spots, Austin Gonsoulin and Lionel Taylor.

Both were worthy of an MVP award, but with the defense giving up 34 points per game I am hard pressed to award that distinction to Gonsoulin despite his 6 interceptions for 64 yards and a touchdown that season. He was the lone bright spot in an otherwise historically bad defensive unit.

1963 Preseason
Aug. 3 11,445 W 27-10 Houston Oilers University of Denver Stadium
Aug. 10 9,655 L 35-19 Oakland Raiders Frank Youell Field
Aug. 17 11,135 W 31-25 San Diego Chargers University of Denver Stadium
Aug. 23 6,865 L 30-16 Kansas City Chiefs Municipal Stadium
Aug. 31 7,000 L 21-14 Buffalo Bills Winston-Salem, N.C.
1963 Regular Season
Sept. 7 21,115 L 59-7 Kansas City Chiefs University of Denver Stadium
Sept. 14 23,147 L 14-20 Houston Oilers Jeppesen Stadium
Sept. 29 18,636 W 14-10 Boston Patriots Bears Stadium
Oct. 6 18,428 W 50-34 San Diego Chargers Bears Stadium
Oct. 13 24,087 L 33-24 Houston Oilers Bears Stadium
Oct. 18 25,418 L 40-21 Boston Patriots Fenway Park
Oct. 26 20,377 T 35-35 New York Jets Polo Grounds
Nov. 3 19,424 L 30-28 Buffalo Bills Bears Stadium
Nov. 9 30,989 L 27-17 Buffalo Bills War Memorial Stadium
Nov. 17 14,247 L 14-9 New York Jets Bears Stadium
Nov. 28 14,763 L 26-10 Oakland Raiders Bears Stadium
Dec. 8 17,443 L 52-21 Kansas City Chiefs Municipal Stadium
Dec. 15 15,223 L 35-31 Oakland Raiders Frank Youell Field
Dec. 22 31,312 L 58-20 San Diego Chargers Balboa Stadium

MHR MVP of 1963

For the third time in the first four years of the Broncos existence, Lionel Taylor gets the MVP award. His 78 receptions for 1101 yards and a whopping 10 touchdowns represents the most significant offensive production on the team for that year.

It's a damn shame he has never even gotten a whiff of the Pro Football Hall of Fame given how dominating he was in the AFL in these early years. Often triple covered, he would produce game in and game out. When a team scores 33 total offensive touchdowns in a season and one guy is responsible for 10 of those, you’ve got to give him the nod for MVP.

Who gets your MVP?

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