|9/8||at los angeles raiders||13-16|
|9/22||san diego chargers||27-19|
|9/29||at minnesota vikings||13-6|
|10/6||at houston oilers||14-42|
|10/20||kansas city chiefs||19-16|
|10/27||at new england patriots||9-6|
|11/10||los angeles raiders||16-17|
|11/17||at kansas city chiefs||24-20|
|11/24||at seattle seahawks||10-13|
|12/1||new england patriots||20-3|
|12/8||at cleveland browns||17-7|
|12/22||at san diego chargers||17-14|
|1/4||houston oilers (AFC divisional game)||26-24|
|1/12||at buffalo bills (afc championship game)||7-10|
The Drive II caps a revival
From the ashes of 5-11 came the best regular season since 1984, a 12-4 finish that vaulted the Broncos back to the top of the AFC West. The roster wasn’t radically turned over, but the changes were apparent.
“A few key people and attitude,” wide receiver Mark Jackson said in 1991. “Last year, we didn’t have a terribly bad team, but we did have a terrible record. We kind of went down the tubes.”
The 1991 Broncos won the close games the 1990 edition lost, going 8-3 in contests decided by seven points or less. Their proficiency in those games would set up another dramatic, franchise-defining playoff victory.
With Elway improvising, the Broncos capitalized on the Oilers’ three- and four-man rushes to march down the field in two minutes. Denver converted two fourth downs to keep hope alive, leading to a 28-yard field goal try in the waning seconds. Backup quarterback Gary Kubiak saved a tricky snap and kicker David Treadwell knocked the ball through the uprights for the stunning victory.
Kubiak and Treadwell would play prominent roles eight days later in the AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills, but not as they dreamed. On a windy afternoon, Treadwell missed three field-goal attempts. Kubiak replaced Elway, who suffered a right thigh injury, and nearly led a comeback, but a Sewell fumble ended the Broncos’ late comeback hopes in a 10-7 loss.
But the Broncos were back.