Lionel Taylor followed his impressive 1960 career with 100 receptions (1,176 yds.) in 1961 that stood as the franchise record until 2000 (and currently tie for eighth on its single-season chart).
Second verse, same as the first
After a 1-4 preseason in which the Broncos had so many injuries that they had to cancel an intra-squad scrimmage, they opened 1961 as they did 1960: with a stunning win on the road, defeating the well-heeled Buffalo Bills 22-10.
As was the case in 1960, they hung in contention for a while, and hit midseason at 3-4 following a pair of home wins over Oakland and the New York Titans. But just like 1960, the Broncos collapsed in the second half of the season, in which the Broncos went winless and lost by an average of 22.4 points per game.
Following that seven-game skid, the first head coach became the first head coach to be fired, when Filchock was dismissed. He departed with a 7-20-1 record.
The Broncos couldn’t play hard-nosed, defensive football. Some of that was due to budget constraints, which led to a lack of talent. But Filchock’s practice philosophy did not help.
“His big thing in practice was, ‘Let’s play a touch football game,’” Ring of Fame quarterback Frank Tripucka said decades later. “And he’d play this game for two hours straight. And that’s what he considered his practice sessions.”
Flichock’s dismissal marked the Broncos’ first coaching change — and it was the start of a gaggle of changes in advance of the 1962 season.