The Denver Broncos decided to repeat 1963 by going 2-11-1 again. This time their defense stepped things up, but their offense collapsed instead. Thanks for that one! The offense scored just 24 offensive touchdowns and would lose plenty of close games that year. Head coach Jack Faulkner was replaced by receivers coach Mac Speedie. Speedie ended the Broncos’ four-game losing streak but would go 1-7-1 the rest of the way.
The Canadian Connection
On January 1, 1960, Howsam opened the gateway for the Canadian Connection when he hired Frank Filchock as the Broncos' first head coach.
Thanks to the worst trade ever, the Broncos also traded away a chance to draft Joe Namath in 1965 (for what amounted to a two-year rental on quarterback Jackie Lee). That trade was just one of four made by the Broncos with their first five picks in the 1964 AFL Draft. It’s like there couldn’t have been a bigger stooge of the AFL than the Denver Broncos back then. It’s okay though. The greatest of champions often rise from the lowest of origins. If you look at the Broncos of the last 30 years you see a polar opposite of the franchise that existed in the 60s. Hard trials must come before glory.
An interesting historical footnote to this season came from the Chicago-Sun Times which published a claim that Chicago White Sox owner Arthur Allen was going to purchase the Broncos and move the team to Chicago. Broncos President Carl Kunz and Allen claimed the report was false.
For this team, there were two standouts and their names were Willie Brown and Austin "Goose" Gonsoulin. Willie Brown nabbed 9 interceptions for 140 yards, while the Goose snatched 7 interceptions for 125 yards.
|Aug. 8||26,293||L 34-20||San Diego Chargers||Balboa Stadium|
|Aug. 14||13,545||L 20-7||Oakland Raiders||Bears Stadium|
|Aug. 20||32,127||W 32-20||Houston Oilers||Jeppesen Stadium|
|Aug. 28||19,500||L 14-10||Kansas City Chiefs||Fort Worth, Texas|
|Sept. 5||20,568||W 27-17||Boston Patriots||University of Denver Stadium|
1964 Regular Season
|Sept. 12||45,665||L 30-6||New York Jets||Shea Stadium|
|Sept. 20||28,501||L 30-13||Buffalo Bills||War Memorial Stadium|
|Sept. 27||22,651||L 38-17||Houston Oilers||Bears Stadium|
|Oct. 4||15,485||L 39-10||Boston Patriots||Bears Stadium|
|Oct. 11||16,285||W 33-27||Kansas City Chiefs||Bears Stadium|
|Oct. 18||23,332||L 42-14||San Diego Chargers||Balboa Stadium|
|Oct. 25||17,858||L 40-7||Oakland Raiders||Frank Youell Field|
|Nov. 1||15,053||L 49-39||Kansas City Chiefs||Municipal Stadium|
|Nov. 8||19,670||L 31-20||San Diego Chargers||Bears Stadium|
|Nov. 15||11,309||W 20-16||New York Jets||Bears Stadium|
|Nov. 20||24,979||L 12-7||Boston Patriots||Fenway Park|
|Nov. 29||15,958||T 20-20||Oakland Raiders||Bears Stadium|
|Dec. 13||14,431||L 30-19||Buffalo Bills||Bears Stadium|
|Dec. 20||15,839||L 34-15||Houston Oilers||Jeppesen Stadium|
MHR MVP of 1964
I’m giving this MVP award to Goose Gonsoulin, because he was a Denver Bronco through and through. Willie Brown would move on to the Oakland Raiders and would never top his 1964 season as a Raider, yet he would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. How is that for some bullcrap?
Anyway, Goose Gonsoulin averaged seven interceptions a season as a Bronco, setting the single season record in 1960 at 11 that still stands today. He’s getting one of my MVP awards during this decade. Period.
Who gets your MVP?