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John Elway v. Joe Montana: a Broncos-Chiefs rivalry game for the ages

Two of the greatest quarterbacks in history facing off in one of the NFL’s greatest games in history.

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There is nothing better than a rivalry.

And for the last 20 years, the Broncos v. Chiefs has been one of the best in the AFC West.

But in October 1994, the John Elway-led Broncos faced the Joe Montana-led Chiefs for a Monday Night Football showdown at Mile High that will go down as one of the sport’s greatest games ever.

Other than the final score landing in favor of the Chiefs, it was everything football fans could hope for in a game - prime time, raucous crowd, two future Hall-of-Famers battling it out, matching each other score for score most of the game.

It was gridlocked at 21-21 until Chiefs’ kicker Lin Elliot hit a 19-yard field goal to go up 24-21 with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Broncos’ tight end Shannon Sharpe and Chiefs’ running back Marcus Allen traded fumbles on their team’s next two possessions, but Elway would not be daunted.

No. 7 led a six-play, 39-yard drive, culminating in a 4-yard touchdown on a quarterback draw, putting the Broncos in the lead 28-24 with 1:29 remaining.

But Montana would not let Elway own the most spectacular comeback on the night as he connected with Willie Davis in the end zone on a 5-yard touchdown pass with just eight seconds left in the game.

I also had a chance earlier this week to speak with Joe Valerio, former Chiefs’ offensive lineman who not only played in that historic game but also scored a touchdown.

Yes, the Chiefs’ center scored a TD - but do you recall how he got into the end zone??? Give a listen to find out; there will be a quiz at the end.

In Valerio’s career, in fact, the center scored four touchdowns, one of the few o-lineman in the NFL to not only score a TD but to score multiple TDs.

In this special edition of the Something Something Broncos’ podcast, Valerio and I spoke primarily about the upcoming matchup at Arrowhead with two much younger gunslingers going head-to-head.

And while Drew Lock v. Patrick Mahomes is no Elway v. Montana game, it has the makings of a superb future rivalry that will kick off Sunday afternoon.

Valerio believes the Chiefs will come out on top but isn’t putting it past the Broncos to pull the upset. If the Broncos defense can contain KC’s shifty quarterback and Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson can put on a show in the secondary like they have much of the second half of the season, there’s a chance for the offense to stay close and even make the Chiefs pretty nervous.

In fact, if the Broncos can come out fast like they did against the Texans, Valerio thinks the Chiefs will be in for a long day.

“It’s going to be very interesting,” Valerio said. “Sunday could be anybody’s game.”


Quiz time! What kind of touchdown did Valerio score?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Caught a pass in the end zone
    (36 votes)
  • 3%
    Ran with blazing speed into the end zone
    (5 votes)
  • 4%
    Caught the ball and danced into the end zone
    (6 votes)
  • 65%
    Caught the ball and dove/bellyflopped into the end zone
    (91 votes)
138 votes total Vote Now

Horse Tracks

Chiefs v. Broncos 1994: John Elway v. Joe Montana | Grudge Match | NFL Films
At the 1:05 minute mark in this short NFL Films recap of the game, you can see No. 73 (Joe Valerio) score his TD.

Five things to watch as the Chiefs play the Broncos - Arrowhead Pride
The second matchup of the season between these two divisional foes will look different than the first one.

Arrowhead Pride | Kansas City Chiefs Schedule, News, Roster and Stats
Your best source for quality Kansas City Chiefs news, rumors, analysis, stats and scores from the fan perspective.

Film review: Kareem Jackson’s fit, value on full display in Broncos’ defense – The Athletic
In Vic Fangio's system, Kareem Jackson has found a role that is tailored to his skill sets.

Mahomes' leadership; ex-teammates tickled by Tannehill's rebirth -
What do some of Ryan Tannehill's former teammates think of his sudden success? How did Patrick Mahomes fire up the Chiefs?'s reporters fill you in on what you need to know ahead of Week 15.

Why Justin Simmons was a clear choice to be the Broncos' Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year
Simmons contributed more than 3,500 minutes with 20 different local organizations and built countless relationships in the community in 2019.

Drew Lock named NFL Rookie of the Week after win vs. Texans
Lock is the first Broncos rookie to win since Phillip Lindsay won the award last season.

Q&A: Broncos QBs coach T.C. McCartney talks Drew Lock, return to Colorado and more – The Athletic
T.C. McCartney, the grandson of former CU coach Bill McCartney and son of late QB Sal Aunese, is a first-year positional coach in Denver.

Scangarello: Lock's ‘Excellent, Innate Pocket Feel’ has Helped Broncos' O-Line
Turns out, having a dynamic quarterback helps a team's offensive line. Who would have thunk it?

Denver Broncos: Drew Lock’s gaudy stats are fool’s gold
This may have been the worst 300-yard, three-touchdown performance I’ve ever seen. Obviously, the bar is extremely high there — those games are usually pretty good — but I don’t know if anything that Lock put on tape, outside of that strike to Fant and a few out-of-structure plays, should have Broncos fans enthused about his prospects.

Why Both Hope and Skepticism are Warranted with Drew Lock
Hopeful or skeptical? What should be the prevailing emotion in Broncos Country as it pertains to Drew Lock?