It's "Championship Sunday" this weekend so this week for our Broncos Throwback Thursday...let's look back at one of the most memorable games in not just Broncos history but NFL history which occurred on January 17th, 1988.

The year before, it was John Elway leading "The Drive" to victory over the Cleveland Browns for a trip to the Super Bowl and here we were, one year later with the same two teams battling it out for the AFC Championship for yet another trip to the Super Bowl. The main difference this year was the was in the friendly confines of Mile High Stadium but the Cleveland Browns were ready to redeem themselves for letting one slip away the year before. The rosters were pretty much the same minus a couple of players here and there but the game itself was COMPLETELY different.

The year before, it was pretty much a defensive struggle until late in the game but in the 87 Championship, the Broncos came out swinging while the Browns mistake prone start to the game put them in an early 14-0 hole which shortly thereafter grew to 21-3 by halftime.

However, the game changed in the 3rd quarter with the Browns racking up 21 points and getting the game back to a tie early in the 4th quarter. After the Broncos stormed back to take the lead on a Sammy Winder touchdown, the Browns had their opportunity to march down the field late in the game (albeit to only tie the game) but to send the game into overtime with all of the momentum.

It looked like that was going to happen with the Broncos D on their heels and the Browns offense seemingly getting stronger, Cleveland was perched inside the Broncos 10 yard line when running back Earnest Byner (who was simply destroying the Denver D all day long) got the hand off and was heading into the endzone...that's when Jeremiah Castille etched his name into Broncos history with one big play causing AND recovering..."The Fumble".

youtube/NFL Archive


If you want to recapture the game with more highlights, here ya go...

youtube/NFL Throwback

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