|9/12||san diego chargers||3-23|
|9/19||san francisco 49ers||24-21|
|11/28||at san diego chargers||20-30|
|12/12||at los angeles rams||27-24|
|12/19||kansas city chiefs||16-37|
|12/26||at los angeles raiders||10-27|
|1/2||at seattle seahawks||11-13|
Strike-shortened season a year to forget
The 1982 season remains the biggest anomaly in NFL history.
The players’ strike tore the season asunder after two games, and lasted eight weeks and lingered into November. An additional week of games was added to the regular season, creating a nine-game sprint to the playoffs that lent itself to odd results — including San Francisco’s 3-6 season and Denver’s 2-7 finish.
By winning percentage, the 1982 season remains the Broncos’ worst since 1967. Future successful seasons would show that the year was a blip exacerbated by the strike.
“A few players got together and basically, it was, ‘No,'” Barney Chavous, the defensive lineman who was the Broncos’ representative to the NFL Players’ Association, said at the time. A few other scattered players around the league also did not participate, but the Broncos were the sole group to do so en masse.
The tumultuous season also saw transition on the field. On the cusp of his 40th birthday, quarterback Craig Morton was demoted to the third team as head coach Dan Reeves sought to get more playing time for Steve DeBerg, acquired in a 1981 trade from the San Francisco 49ers. Morton was less than three months away from his 40th birthday when he made his final career start, a 17-10 loss to the Seahawks on November 21, 1982. DeBerg, and later Mark Herrmann, started the rest of the frustrating season.
Morton was honored before his final home game and eventually inducted into the Ring of Fame. At the time of his last game, he defined jersey No. 7 in the orange and blue. That would change in the most resounding fashion possible months later.