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1981 Denver Broncos

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10-6-0, Finished 2nd in AFC West Division  · 1981 NFL Season Summary
 SRS: Total 1.3, Offense: -1.6, Defense: 2.9, SoS: -0.7, avg is 0.0.

Scored 321 points (20.1/g), 17th of 28 in the NFL. Allowed 289 points (18.1/g), 9th.
 Differential of 32 points (2.0/g), 15th.  Expected W-L: 9.0-7.0.

Coach: Dan Reeves (10-6-0)
 Offensive Coordinator: Rod Dowhower
 Defensive Coordinator: Joe Collier

Stadium: Mile High Stadium
 Training Camp: Colorado State (Fort Collins, Colorado)

Team Info

Principal Owner Edgar Kaiser
General Manager Grady Alderman
Offensive Scheme Smashmouth
Defensive Alignment 3-4

Team Stats and Rankings

Tot Yds & TO Passing Rushing
Player PF Yds Ply Y/P TO FL 1stPy 1stD Cmp Att Yds TD Int NY/A 1stD Att Yds TD Y/A 1stD
Team Offense 321 5426 1061 5.1 39 18 34 306 289 485 3531 27 21 6.5 181 515 1895 12 3.7 91
Team Defense 289 4878 1000 4.9 46 23 23 268 267 497 2873 13 23 5.4 142 467 2005 17 4.3 103
Lg Rank Offense 17 14 11 14 16 16 8 4 11 10 15 21 20 23
Lg Rank Defense 9 6 7 3 2 11 5 3 11 5 5 13 17 22

Team Games & Schedule

W# Day Date OT Rec Opp Tm Opp 1stD TotYd PassY RushY TO 1stD TotYd PassY RushY TO
1 Sun September 6 boxscore W 1-0 Oakland Raiders 9 7 21 358 182 176 1 12 165 84 81 3
2 Sun September 13 boxscore L 1-1 @ Seattle Seahawks 10 13 16 252 142 110 2 18 267 156 111 2
3 Sun September 20 boxscore W 2-1 Baltimore Colts 28 10 27 442 315 127 4 10 209 48 161 3
4 Sun September 27 boxscore W 3-1 San Diego Chargers 42 24 20 453 350 103 3 23 349 267 82 5
5 Sun October 4 boxscore W 4-1 @ Oakland Raiders 17 0 17 252 90 162 12 168 90 78 6
6 Sun October 11 boxscore W 5-1 Detroit Lions 27 21 20 401 266 135 3 18 325 63 262 1
7 Sun October 18 boxscore L 5-2 @ Kansas City Chiefs 14 28 20 396 319 77 5 13 324 100 224 5
8 Sun October 25 boxscore L 5-3 @ Buffalo Bills 7 9 10 161 97 64 17 323 204 119 2
9 Mon November 2 boxscore W 6-3 Minnesota Vikings 19 17 17 329 182 147 2 19 325 223 102 2
10 Sun November 8 boxscore W OT 7-3 Cleveland Browns 23 20 22 362 246 116 2 20 362 280 82 4
11 Sun November 15 boxscore W 8-3 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24 7 22 281 128 153 1 10 209 168 41 2
12 Sun November 22 boxscore L 8-4 @ Cincinnati Bengals 21 38 17 337 269 68 4 25 571 387 184 1
13 Sun November 29 boxscore L 8-5 @ San Diego Chargers 17 34 19 389 322 67 5 20 408 260 148 2
14 Sun December 6 boxscore W 9-5 Kansas City Chiefs 16 13 16 342 265 77 1 18 307 233 74 1
15 Sun December 13 boxscore W 10-5 Seattle Seahawks 23 13 23 373 136 237 3 18 285 199 86 5
16 Sun December 20 boxscore L 10-6 @ Chicago Bears 24 35 19 298 222 76 3 15 281 111 170 2

Passing

ProBowl(*), 1st-team All-Pro(+)
No. Player Age Pos G GS QBrec Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD TD% Int Int% Lng Y/A AY/A Y/C Y/G Rate QBR Sk SkYds NY/A ANY/A Sk% 4QC GWD
7 Craig Morton 38 QB 15 15 10-5-0 225 376 59.8% 3195 21 5.6 14 3.7 95 8.5 7.9 14.2 213.0 90.5 54 394 6.51 6.03 12.6 2 2
17 Steve DeBerg 27 qb 14 1 0-1-0 64 108 59.3% 797 6 5.6 6 5.6 44 7.4 6.0 12.5 56.9 77.6 7 67 6.35 5.04 6.1
32 Tony Reed 26 15 0 0 1 0.0% 0 0 0.0 1 100.0 0 0.0 -45.0 0.0 0.0 0 0 0.00 -45.00 0.0
Team Total 27.3 16 10-6-0 289 485 59.6% 3992 27 5.6 21 4.3 95 8.2 7.4 13.8 249.5 86.6 61 461 6.47 5.73 11.2 2 2
Opp Total 16 267 497 53.7% 3168 13 2.6 23 4.6 6.4 4.81 11.9 198.0 62.8 36 295 5.4 3.9 6.8

Rushing & Receiving

ProBowl(*), 1st-team All-Pro(+)
Games Rushing Receiving
No. Player Age Pos G GS Att Yds TD Lng Y/A Y/G A/G Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng R/G Y/G YScm RRTD Fmb
46 Dave Preston 26 RB 16 14 183 640 3 23 3.5 40.0 11.4 52 507 9.8 0 37 3.3 31.7 1147 3 4
24 Rick Parros 23 FB 16 16 176 749 2 25 4.3 46.8 11.0 25 216 8.6 1 26 1.6 13.5 965 3 6
32 Tony Reed 26 15 0 68 156 0 10 2.3 10.4 4.5 34 317 9.3 0 33 2.3 21.1 473 0 1
35 Larry Canada 27 16 0 33 113 3 11 3.4 7.1 2.1 3 37 12.3 1 20 0.2 2.3 150 4 1
41 Rob Lytle 27 16 0 30 106 4 18 3.5 6.6 1.9 6 47 7.8 1 14 0.4 2.9 153 5 1
17 Steve DeBerg 27 qb 14 1 9 40 0 11 4.4 2.9 0.6 40 0 2
7 Craig Morton 38 QB 15 15 8 18 0 5 2.3 1.2 0.5 18 0 2
80 Rick Upchurch 29 WR 13 10 5 56 0 37 11.2 4.3 0.4 32 550 17.2 3 63 2.5 42.3 606 3 0
81 Steve Watson* 24 WR 16 13 2 6 0 6 3.0 0.4 0.1 60 1244 20.7 13 95 3.8 77.8 1250 13 0
87 James Wright 25 16 0 1 11 0 11 11.0 0.7 0.1 3 22 7.3 1 14 0.2 1.4 33 1 0
88 Riley Odoms 31 TE 15 15 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 38 516 13.6 5 28 2.5 34.4 516 5 1
85 Ron Egloff 26 te 16 6 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 17 231 13.6 1 40 1.1 14.4 231 1 2
25 Haven Moses 35 wr 16 6 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 15 246 16.4 1 30 0.9 15.4 246 1 1
83 Wade Manning 26 KR/PR 16 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 3 49 16.3 0 34 0.2 3.1 49 0 3
70 Dave Studdard 26 RT 16 16 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 1 10 10.0 0 10 0.1 0.6 10 0 0
Team Total 27.3 16 515 1895 12 37 3.7 118.4 32.2 289 3992 13.8 27 95 18.1 249.5 5887 39 26
Opp Total 16 467 2005 17 4.3 125.3 29.2 267 2873 10.8 13 16.7 179.6 4878 30 36

Kick & Punt Returns

ProBowl(*), 1st-team All-Pro(+)
Games Punt Returns Kick Returns
No. Player Age Pos G GS Ret Yds TD Lng Y/R Rt Yds TD Lng Y/Rt APYd
83 Wade Manning 26 KR/PR 16 0 41 378 0 39 9.2 26 514 0 31 19.8 941
31 Mike Harden 22 db 16 3 11 178 0 23 16.2 178
80 Rick Upchurch 29 WR 13 10 9 63 0 15 7.0 669
41 Rob Lytle 27 16 0 5 80 0 24 16.0 233
35 Larry Canada 27 16 0 2 19 0 13 9.5 169
85 Ron Egloff 26 te 16 6 1 7 0 7 7.0 238
22 Aaron Kyle 27 RCB 16 16 1 0 0 0 0.0 0
46 Dave Preston 26 RB 16 14 1 1 0 1 1.0 1148
50 Jim Ryan 24 16 0 1 2 0 2 2.0 2
Team Total 27.3 16 51 441 0 39 8.6 47 801 0 31 17.0 7129
Opp Total 16 46 388 0 8.4 47 1007 0 21.4

Kicking & Punting

ProBowl(*), 1st-team All-Pro(+)
Games 0-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+ Scoring Punting
No. Player Age Pos G GS FGA FGM FGA FGM FGA FGM FGA FGM FGA FGM FGA FGM FG% XPA XPM XP% Pnt Yds Lng Blck Y/P
11 Luke Prestridge 25 P 16 0 86 3478 67 0 40.4
19 Fred Steinfort 29 K 16 0 9 6 11 5 8 6 2 30 17 56.7%% 37 36 97.3%%
Team Total 27.3 16 9 6 11 5 8 6 2 30 17 56.7%% 37 36 97.3%% 86 3478 67 0 40.4
Opp Total 16 27 15 55.6%% 35 34 97.1%% 88 3793 43.1

Defense & Fumbles

ProBowl(*), 1st-team All-Pro(+)
Games Def Interceptions Fumbles Sacks & Tackles
No. Player Age Pos G GS Sk Int Yds TD Lng PD FF Fmb FR Yds TD Tkl Ast Sfty
49 Dennis Smith 22 db 16 4 1 65 0 65 0 0 0 2 0 0 45 0
24 Rick Parros 23 FB 16 16 0 6 1 0 0
43 Steve Foley 28 FS 16 13 5 81 0 24 0 0 0 1 0 0
22 Aaron Kyle 27 RCB 16 16 2 40 0 40 0 0 0 4 1 0
51 Bob Swenson*+ 28 LOLB 16 16 3 53 0 32 0 0 0 3 0 0
36 Bill Thompson* 35 SS 16 16 4 14 0 14 0 0 0 2 0 0
53 Randy Gradishar* 29 RILB 16 16 4 38 0 16 0
46 Dave Preston 26 RB 16 14 0 4 0 0 0
85 Ron Egloff 26 te 16 6 0 2 1 6 0
31 Mike Harden 22 db 16 3 2 34 0 38 0 0 0 1 0 0
83 Wade Manning 26 KR/PR 16 0 0 3 0 0 0
58 Steve Busick 23 16 0 0 0 2 3 0
35 Larry Canada 27 16 0 0 1 1 0 0
17 Steve DeBerg 27 qb 14 1 0 2 0 0 0
56 Larry Evans 28 LILB 16 16 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
7 Craig Morton 38 QB 15 15 0 2 0 0 0
81 Steve Watson* 24 WR 16 13 0 0 2 0 0
64 Bill Bryan 26 C 14 14 0 1 0 0 0
68 Rubin Carter 29 NT 16 16 0 0 1 0 0
79 Barney Chavous 30 LDE 16 16 0 0 1 0 0
62 Tom Glassic 27 LG 16 16 0 0 1 0 0
57 Tom Jackson 30 ROLB 16 16 0 0 1 0 0
75 Rulon Jones 23 RDE 16 16 0 0 1 0 0
72 Don Latimer 26 16 0 0 0 1 0 0
41 Rob Lytle 27 16 0 0 1 0 0 0
66 Brison Manor 29 16 0 1 16 0 16 0
25 Haven Moses 35 wr 16 6 0 1 0 0 0
88 Riley Odoms 31 TE 15 15 0 1 0 0 0
11 Luke Prestridge 25 P 16 0 0 1 0 0 0
32 Tony Reed 26 15 0 0 1 0 0 0
87 James Wright 25 16 0 0 0 1 1 0
20 Louis Wright 28 LCB 8 8 0 0 1 -5 0
Team Total 27.3 16 23 342 0 65 0 0 26 29 6 0 45 0
Opp Total 16 61 36 13

Scoring Summary

ProBowl(*), 1st-team All-Pro(+)
No. Player Age Pos G GS RshTD RecTD PR TD KR TD FblTD IntTD OthTD AllTD 2PM XPM FGM Sfty Pts Pts/G
19 Fred Steinfort 29 K 16 0 36 17 87
81 Steve Watson* 24 WR 16 13 13 13 78
41 Rob Lytle 27 16 0 4 1 5 30
88 Riley Odoms 31 TE 15 15 5 5 30
35 Larry Canada 27 16 0 3 1 4 24
24 Rick Parros 23 FB 16 16 2 1 3 18
46 Dave Preston 26 RB 16 14 3 3 18
80 Rick Upchurch 29 WR 13 10 3 3 18
85 Ron Egloff 26 te 16 6 1 1 6
25 Haven Moses 35 wr 16 6 1 1 6
87 James Wright 25 16 0 1 1 6
Team Total 27.3 16 12 27 39 36 17 321
Opp Total 16 17 13 1 4 34 15 289

Touchdown Log

Rk Date Opp Result Quarter Dist Type
1 1981-09-06 OAK W, 9-7 1 44 pass Rick Upchurch 44 yard pass from Craig Morton (pass failed)
2 1981-09-13 @ SEA L, 10-13 2 11 pass Riley Odoms 11 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
3 1981-09-20 BAL W, 28-10 2 7 pass Ron Egloff 7 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
4 1981-09-20 BAL W, 28-10 2 29 pass Steve Watson 29 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
5 1981-09-20 BAL W, 28-10 3 18 pass Steve Watson 18 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
6 1981-09-20 BAL W, 28-10 3 48 pass Steve Watson 48 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
7 1981-09-27 SDG W, 42-24 1 19 pass Riley Odoms 19 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
8 1981-09-27 SDG W, 42-24 1 93 pass Steve Watson 93 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
9 1981-09-27 SDG W, 42-24 1 2 pass James Wright 2 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
10 1981-09-27 SDG W, 42-24 2 21 pass Steve Watson 21 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
11 1981-09-27 SDG W, 42-24 3 2 rush Dave Preston 2 yard rush (Fred Steinfort kick)
12 1981-09-27 SDG W, 42-24 4 3 rush Rob Lytle 3 yard rush (Fred Steinfort kick)
13 1981-10-04 @ OAK W, 17-0 2 4 rush Dave Preston 4 yard rush (Fred Steinfort kick)
14 1981-10-04 @ OAK W, 17-0 3 20 rush Rick Parros 20 yard rush (Fred Steinfort kick)
15 1981-10-11 DET W, 27-21 1 95 pass Steve Watson 95 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
16 1981-10-11 DET W, 27-21 2 40 pass Steve Watson 40 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
17 1981-10-11 DET W, 27-21 4 15 pass Rick Parros 15 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
18 1981-10-18 @ KAN L, 14-28 3 11 pass Steve Watson 11 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
19 1981-10-18 @ KAN L, 14-28 4 11 pass Steve Watson 11 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
20 1981-10-25 @ BUF L, 7-9 2 36 pass Steve Watson 36 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
21 1981-11-02 MIN W, 19-17 4 5 rush Rob Lytle 5 yard rush
22 1981-11-02 MIN W, 19-17 4 15 pass Steve Watson 15 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
23 1981-11-08 CLE W, 23-20 2 5 pass Steve Watson 5 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
24 1981-11-08 CLE W, 23-20 4 4 rush Dave Preston 4 yard rush (Fred Steinfort kick)
25 1981-11-15 @ TAM W, 24-7 1 12 pass Riley Odoms 12 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
26 1981-11-15 @ TAM W, 24-7 3 1 rush Larry Canada 1 yard rush (Fred Steinfort kick)
27 1981-11-15 @ TAM W, 24-7 4 3 pass Larry Canada 3 yard pass from Steve DeBerg (Fred Steinfort kick)
28 1981-11-22 @ CIN L, 21-38 2 5 rush Rob Lytle 5 yard rush (Fred Steinfort kick)
29 1981-11-22 @ CIN L, 21-38 4 14 pass Steve Watson 14 yard pass from Steve DeBerg (Fred Steinfort kick)
30 1981-11-22 @ CIN L, 21-38 4 14 pass Rob Lytle 14 yard pass from Steve DeBerg (Fred Steinfort kick)
31 1981-11-29 @ SDG L, 17-34 2 4 rush Larry Canada 4 yard rush (Fred Steinfort kick)
32 1981-11-29 @ SDG L, 17-34 4 10 pass Haven Moses 10 yard pass from Steve DeBerg (Fred Steinfort kick)
33 1981-12-06 KAN W, 16-13 1 2 rush Rob Lytle 2 yard rush (Fred Steinfort kick)
34 1981-12-06 KAN W, 16-13 2 2 rush Larry Canada 2 yard rush (run failed)
35 1981-12-13 SEA W, 23-13 1 22 pass Riley Odoms 22 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
36 1981-12-13 SEA W, 23-13 4 8 rush Rick Parros 8 yard rush (Fred Steinfort kick)
37 1981-12-20 @ CHI L, 24-35 3 6 pass Riley Odoms 6 yard pass from Craig Morton (Fred Steinfort kick)
38 1981-12-20 @ CHI L, 24-35 3 25 pass Rick Upchurch 25 yard pass from Steve DeBerg (Fred Steinfort kick)
39 1981-12-20 @ CHI L, 24-35 4 39 pass Rick Upchurch 39 yard pass from Steve DeBerg (Fred Steinfort kick)

Opponent Touchdown Log

Rk Date Opp Result Quarter Dist Type
1 1981-09-06 OAK L, 7-9 1 9 pass Raymond Chester 9 yard pass from Jim Plunkett (Chris Bahr kick)
2 1981-09-13 @ SEA W, 13-10 1 3 pass Dennis Boyd 3 yard pass from Jim Zorn (Efren Herrera kick)
3 1981-09-20 BAL L, 10-28 3 63 rush Curtis Dickey 63 yard rush (Mike Wood kick)
4 1981-09-27 SDG L, 24-42 3 39 pass Ron Smith 39 yard pass from Dan Fouts (Rolf Benirschke kick)
5 1981-09-27 SDG L, 24-42 4 1 rush John Cappelletti 1 yard rush (Rolf Benirschke kick)
6 1981-09-27 SDG L, 24-42 4 1 pass Kellen Winslow 1 yard pass from Dan Fouts (Rolf Benirschke kick)
7 1981-10-11 DET L, 21-27 1 48 rush Billy Sims 48 yard rush (Eddie Murray kick)
8 1981-10-11 DET L, 21-27 2 1 rush Billy Sims 1 yard rush (Eddie Murray kick)
9 1981-10-11 DET L, 21-27 2 60 interception Alvin Hall 60 yard interception return (Eddie Murray kick)
10 1981-10-18 @ KAN W, 28-14 1 1 rush Billy Jackson 1 yard rush (Nick Lowery kick)
11 1981-10-18 @ KAN W, 28-14 1 47 fumble Whitney Paul 47 yard fumble return (Nick Lowery kick)
12 1981-10-18 @ KAN W, 28-14 4 64 pass Henry Marshall 64 yard pass from Bill Kenney (Nick Lowery kick)
13 1981-10-18 @ KAN W, 28-14 4 82 rush Joe Delaney 82 yard rush (Nick Lowery kick)
14 1981-11-02 MIN L, 17-19 4 1 rush Tony Galbreath 1 yard rush (Rick Danmeier kick)
15 1981-11-02 MIN L, 17-19 4 1 rush Tony Galbreath 1 yard rush (Rick Danmeier kick)
16 1981-11-08 CLE L, 20-23 2 1 rush Cleo Miller 1 yard rush (Matt Bahr kick)
17 1981-11-08 CLE L, 20-23 3 23 pass Dave Logan 23 yard pass from Brian Sipe (Matt Bahr kick)
18 1981-11-15 @ TAM L, 7-24 3 40 interception Cedric Brown 40 yard interception return (Bill Capece kick)
19 1981-11-22 @ CIN W, 38-21 1 39 rush Pete Johnson 39 yard rush (Jim Breech kick)
20 1981-11-22 @ CIN W, 38-21 1 2 pass Pete Johnson 2 yard pass from Ken Anderson (Jim Breech kick)
21 1981-11-22 @ CIN W, 38-21 2 2 rush Ken Anderson 2 yard rush (Jim Breech kick)
22 1981-11-22 @ CIN W, 38-21 2 7 pass Cris Collinsworth 7 yard pass from Ken Anderson (Jim Breech kick)
23 1981-11-22 @ CIN W, 38-21 4 65 pass Charles Alexander 65 yard pass from Ken Anderson (Jim Breech kick)
24 1981-11-29 @ SDG W, 34-17 1 14 rush Chuck Muncie 14 yard rush (Rolf Benirschke kick)
25 1981-11-29 @ SDG W, 34-17 1 1 rush Chuck Muncie 1 yard rush (Rolf Benirschke kick)
26 1981-11-29 @ SDG W, 34-17 2 4 rush Chuck Muncie 4 yard rush
27 1981-11-29 @ SDG W, 34-17 2 3 rush Chuck Muncie 3 yard rush (Rolf Benirschke kick)
28 1981-11-29 @ SDG W, 34-17 3 1 pass Eric Sievers 1 yard pass from Dan Fouts (Rolf Benirschke kick)
29 1981-12-06 KAN L, 13-16 3 1 rush James Hadnot 1 yard rush (Nick Lowery kick)
30 1981-12-13 SEA L, 13-23 4 5 pass David Hughes 5 yard pass from Dave Krieg (Wilson Alvarez kick)
31 1981-12-20 @ CHI W, 35-24 2 19 pass Walter Payton 19 yard pass from Vince Evans (John Roveto kick)
32 1981-12-20 @ CHI W, 35-24 2 4 rush Roland Harper 4 yard rush (John Roveto kick)
33 1981-12-20 @ CHI W, 35-24 3 69 interception Gary Fencik 69 yard interception return (John Roveto kick)
34 1981-12-20 @ CHI W, 35-24 3 44 interception Al Harris 44 yard interception return (John Roveto kick)
35 1981-12-20 @ CHI W, 35-24 4 7 pass Walter Payton 7 yard pass from Vince Evans (John Roveto kick)