For the second time in three years, the Broncos changed head coaches early in the season, dismissing Mac Speedie in favor of Ray Malavasi after a pair of season-opening losses by a combined 69-17 margin.

The struggles didn’t stop. Although the Broncos went 4-8 under Malavasi’s watch the rest of the way, they lost two games to the Chiefs by a combined score of 93-20 and fell 24-7 at Miami on Oct. 16, which effectively ended the Broncos’ seventh season before Halloween.

Punter Bob Scarpitto was the Broncos’ only All-AFL selection in 1966. His 45.8-yard gross punting average would not be matched by another Broncos punter for 32 years.

Four different quarterbacks had the opportunity to start, but Mickey Slaughter, John McCormick, Max Choboian and Scotty Glacken combined for 27 interceptions against 12 touchdowns and a 42.8 rating.

After the season, Malavasi was not retained. The Broncos plucked Lou Saban from the University of Maryland that December, hoping the head coach of two AFL championship teams in Buffalo could bring some magic to the Mile High City.

1966 schedule

Date Opponent Score
9/3 at houston oilers 26-21
9/18 boston patriots 10-24
9/25 new york jets 7-16
10/2 houston oilers 40-38
10/8 at kansas city chiefs 10-37
10/16 at miami dolphins 7-24
10/23 kansas city chiefs 10-56
10/30 at san diego chargers 17-24
11/6 at boston patriots 17-10
11/20 oakland raiders 3-17
11/27 san diego chargers 20-17
12/4 miami dolphins 17-7
12/11 at oakland raiders 10-28
12/18 at buffalo bills 21-38

June 8, 1966
Merger of American and National Leagues announced

1966 offense

Pos Player Starts
se lionel taylor
lt bob breitenstein
lg jerry sturm
c ray kubala
c larry kaminski
rg john gonzaga
rg jon homan
rt lee burnet
te al denson
fl bob scarpitto
qb john mccormick
qb max choboian
hb abner haynes
hb charlie mitchell
fb wendell hayes

September 19, 1966
Ray Malavasi named Head Coach of the Broncos

1966 defense

Pos Player Starts
le max leetzow
le don la rose
lt ray jacobs
rt larry cox
rt bill keating
re bob young
llb jerry hopkins
llb eugene jeter
mlb archie mastos
rlb john bramlett
lc willie brown
lc goldie sellers
rc nemiah wilson
ls lonnie wright
rs goose gonsoulin

Record: 4-10
Fourth place, AFL west