|9/20||at Green Bay Packers (OT)||17-17|
|9/28||at Cleveland Browns (canceled -- strike)|
|10/12||Los Angeles Raiders||30-14|
|10/18||at Kansas City Chiefs||26-17|
|10/26||at Minnesota Vikings||27-34|
|11/8||at Buffalo Bills||14-21|
|11/22||at Los Angeles Raiders||23-17|
|11/29||at San Diego Chargers||31-17|
|12/6||New England Patriots||31-20|
|12/13||at Seattle Seahawks||21-28|
|12/20||at Kansas City Chiefs||20-17|
|12/27||San Diego Chargers||24-0|
|1/10||Houston Oilers (Divisional Playoff)||34-10|
|1/17||Cleveland Browns (AFC Championship)||38-33|
|1/31||Washington Redskins (Super Bowl XXII)||10-42|
John Elway was the league MVP in 1987, leading the Broncos to their second consecutive AFC title before falling 42-10 to Washington in Super Bowl XXII, giving the Broncos their third Super Bowl loss in as many trips to that point in team history.
But Jeremiah Castille was the unlikely hero of perhaps the most unusual season in league annals, a year that saw the Broncos’ only tie since 1975 and a three-game stint of replacement games while the regular players went on strike.
Castille had been unwanted by the hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so he arrived in Denver in 1987 as a waiver claim with few expectations and even less fanfare. Instead, he made one of the greatest defensive plays in Broncos history.
Unlike the previous year at Municipal Stadium, it was the Browns who had built a cresting tide of momentum late in the game. Denver had led 21-3 at halftime, but from that point forward the Browns were nearly unstoppable, sprinting to four consecutive touchdowns before the Broncos finally forced a punt with the score tied at 31. The Broncos seized the lead back on a 20-yard Elway-to-Sammy Winder pass with 4:01 remaining, but the Browns quickly struck back, mixing Byner’s carries with a pair of Bernie Kosar completions.
With 72 seconds left and the Browns at the Denver 8-yard line, Kosar handed it to Byner once more. The path to the south end zone was wide open.
“I was scared to death,” John Elway said.
“I didn’t hold out a lot of hope when I saw Byner running for the end zone with the ball,” added linebacker Jim Ryan.
“From where he was, I thought he was going to score,” Reeves said. “I was really thinking about who was going to win the coin toss for overtime. Whoever got the ball first was going to win the game.”
Then Castille intervened.
“I saw it loose and one of our guys fell on it,” Ryan said, “and I just said, ‘Thank you, Lord.’”
Castille was always reluctant to talk with reporters, and that remained the case after the game, when he declined interview requests.
“He’s not talking to you guys? What are you doing to my players? He was a nice guy when you came here,” Reeves joked.