The Denver Broncos missed out on Joe Namath due to an idiotic trade, and to add insult to injury they used their second round pick on middle linebacker Dick Butkus -- who chose to sign with his hometown Chicago Bears, but at least they doubled their win total from the previous two seasons in 1965. That was largely due to a spike in offensive production, but 4-10 was still not a sign of major momentum.
Who was the best Broncos player of the 1960s?
It's that time of the year for list making, so I thought it would be fun to find out who the best Denver Broncos player was from each decade.
Both Lionel Taylor and Cookie Gilchrist were the major components of that offensive resurgence. After starting the season 3-3, the offensive production continued but like previous years the franchise could not get both units to gel simultaneously.
The Broncos would lose seven of their final eight games giving up more than 32 points per game on defense. It was a common theme of these early seasons for the Broncos to get most of their wins during the first six or seven games, only to completely collapse to end the season.
An interesting footnote to the 1965 season comes in the fact that a fourth-year coach was added to coach up the Broncos’ offensive line. That coach was Red Miller who, after stints with the St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Colts and New England Patriots, would become the first Broncos head coach to not only lead the team into the playoffs but to a Super Bowl berth as well.
|Aug. 7||17,707||L 30-24||Kansas City Chiefs||University of Denver Stadium|
|Aug. 14||18,000||W 27-17||Oakland Raiders||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Aug. 21||18,913||L 21-6||San Diego Chargers||University of Denver Stadium|
|Aug. 28||12,666||L 25-3||Houston Oilers||San Antonio, Texas|
|Sept. 4||14,550||L 30-20||Oakland Raiders||Sacramento, California|
1965 Regular Season
|Sept. 11||27,022||L 34-31||San Diego Chargers||Balboa Stadium|
|Sept. 19||30,682||L 30-15||Buffalo Bills||Bears Stadium|
|Sept. 24||26,782||W 27-10||Boston Patriots||Fenway Park|
|Oct. 3||34, 988||W 16-13||New York Jets||Bears Stadium|
|Oct. 10||31,001||L 31-23||Kansas City Chiefs||Bears Stadium|
|Oct. 17||32,492||W 28-17||Houston Oilers||Bears Stadium|
|Oct. 24||45,046||L 31-13||Buffalo Bills||War Memorial Stadium|
|Oct. 31||53,717||L 45-10||New York Jets||Shea Stadium|
|Nov. 7||33,073||L 35-21||San Diego Chargers||Bears Stadium|
|Nov. 14||28,126||W 31-21||Houston Oilers||Rice Stadium|
|Nov. 21||30,369||L 28-20||Oakland Raiders||Bears Stadium|
|Dec. 5||19,023||L 24-13||Oakland Raiders||Frank Youell Field|
|Dec. 12||27,207||L 28-20||Boston Patriots||Bears Stadium|
|Dec. 19||14,421||L 45-35||Kansas City Chiefs||Municipal Stadium|
MHR MVP of 1965
I wanted to reward Lionel Taylor again for his incredible 85 catch, 1131 yard season with six touchdowns, but his record really stands for itself. Cookie Gilchrist really did have an outstanding season in 1965.
Gilchrist rushed 252 times from the fullback position for 954 yards and six touchdowns. Relatively speaking, that is roughly the same production as Taylor, yet Gilchrist also added another 18 receptions for 154 yards and a touchdown out of the backfield to push him over the top.
Who gets your MVP?