The NFL season officially gets underway tonight when the defending champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Dallas Cowboys.

On Sunday, the rest of the league gets their season going, and that of course includes the Denver Broncos. The Broncos will kick off the 2021 season on the road for the first two weeks, opening week in New Jersey to face the Giants. Then, they'll travel down to Florida for a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 2 before the home opener against the NY Jets on Sept. 26.

The Broncos have had 61 opening day games and their record stands at 40 wins, 20 losses, and 1 tie. We, however, are going to focus on the past 25 years of opening day games which span back to 1996.

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Since 1996, the Broncos are 18-7 on opening day but have lost their last two opening day games. They look to get back to starting the season with a W for the first time since 2018 when they captured a win against the Seattle Seahawks.

Let's take a trip down memory lane and look back at the last 25 years worth of Denver Broncos opening day games and those results.

1996 vs New York Jets (WIN 31-6)

This game kicked off the 1996 season, which would be the final year of the classic uniform and helmet. It was a tremendous regular season with the Broncos going 13-3 before that shocking and heartbreaking playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Divisional Round of the Playoffs. Fear not though, this was the springboard to the greatness that was laying just ahead.

YouTube/ SW561

1997 vs Kansas City Chiefs (WIN 19-3)

These two teams would meet again with MUCH more on the line and a LOT colder temperatures in the AFC Championship game in Kansas City that would eventually springboard the Broncos to a historical finish to this season that allowed John Elway to get a MASSIVE monkey off his back.

YouTube/ SW561

1998 vs New England Patriots (WIN 27-21)

This was the first game for the Broncos as "defending champions", and more would lay ahead after this great start to the 1998 campaign. The Patriots were also on the verge of breaking out just a few years later. It was a great Monday Night matchup to start the '98 season.

YouTube/ SW561

1999 vs Miami Dolphins (LOSS 38-21)

The beginning of the Brian Griese era had begun. Coming off back-to-back Super Bowl wins and the retirement of John Elway, the Broncos took one to the chin from the Miami Dolphins in front of a sellout and disappointed crowd at Mile High Stadium.

YouTube/ SW561

2000 at St Louis Rams (LOSS 41-36)

For the third year in a row, the Broncos opened the season on Monday Night Football, and for the second year in a row, it ended badly with a loss to the high-powered St. Louis Rams who were coming off their first Super Bowl win the previous season.

YouTube/ SW561

2001 vs New York Giants (WIN 31-20)

While this was a win for the Broncos, this game became known for all the wrong reasons, mainly because this was the final sporting event before the events of 9/11 unfolded the next morning.

YouTube/ Lee521

2002 vs St Louis Rams (WIN 23-16)

These two teams tangled a couple of years prior on Monday Night Football in St. Louis, but THIS time, the game was at Mile High and the outcome was much different.

YouTube/ALL Highlights

2003 at Cincinnati (WIN 30-10)

The Broncos launched the 2003 season in Ohio with a trip to the Queen City and handled business in a BIG way led by QB Jake Plummer.

YouTube/SW 561

2004 vs Kansas City Chiefs (WIN 34-24)

A shootout at Mile High and win for the good guys!

YouTube/executed twister

2005 at Miami Dolphins (LOSS 34-10)

An ugly start to the season as the Broncos melt in the humidity of South Florida. This season would prove to be an exciting one as Denver pushed forward and hosted the AFC Championship Game, which they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

YouTube/ All Highlights

2006 at St Louis Rams (LOSS 18-10)

These two teams opened the season for the third time in six years, and for the second time, both in St. Louis, the Broncos lost.

YouTube/ All Highlights

2007 at Buffalo Bills (WIN 15-14)

The Broncos started up the 2007 season with a one-point nail-biting win in Buffalo.

YouTube/All Highlights

2008 at Oakland Raiders (WON 41-14)

The Broncos traveled to the "Black Hole" and destroyed their bitter rivals to start 2008 in a beautiful way.

YouTube/ Howie Jian

2009 at Cincinnati Bengals (WON 12-7)

A defensive struggle to start the season. but don't let that score fool you. This game, while not the most exciting to watch for most of the time, had one of the craziest and most exciting finishes of the season...for ANY game. Check out the video for this incredible finish HERE.

YouTube/ All Highlights

2010 at Jacksonville Jaguars (LOSS 24-17)

Tim Tebow made his NFL debut just a few miles from where he grew up and not too far from where he played at the University of Florida. But, it was not a good homecoming for Tebow or a start to the 2010 season for the Broncos in the 100-degree heat of Jacksonville, Florida.

YouTube/ All Highlights

2011 vs Oakland Raiders (LOSS 23-20)

New year, new QB starting off the season. This year it was Kyle Orton who got the nod as the Broncos put up a good fight but lost a heartbreaker to the Raiders. Check out the highlights from this game HERE.

YouTube/ All Highlights

2012 vs Pittsburgh Steelers (WON 31-19)

This was the beginning of the Peyton Manning era in Denver, and it got off to a blazing start! Check out the highlights from this game HERE.

YouTube/ All Highlights

2013 vs Baltimore Ravens (WIN 49-27)

After a stunning home loss on a hail mary pass in the playoffs the year before to these eventual Super Bowl Champions, the Baltimore Ravens came back to the Mile High City to start off the 2013 campaign. The game was briefly delayed by lightning, but eventually got going and the Broncos issued some punishment and payback for that defeat the previous year with a statement win to kick-off 2013. Check out the game highlights HERE.

YouTube/ Bart Simpson

2014 vs Indianapolis Colts (WIN 31-24)

Coming off the Super Bowl 48 debacle against the Seattle Seahawks, the Broncos started up their 2014 campaign with a win against the Indianapolis Colts, who would eventually make it to the AFC Championship game later this year. Check out the highlights HERE

YouTube/ All Highlights

2015 vs Baltimore Ravens (WIN 19-13)

It's deja vu all over again. The Ravens were back to kick off the season and, once again, the Broncos kick their butts. Ok, so it wasn't THAT big of a butt-kicking, but a win is a win. There would be MANY more to come in this memorable championship season. Check out the highlights HERE.

YouTube/ All Highlights

2016 vs Carolina Panthers (WON 21-20)

The Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 the year before and guess who came back for another big fat L to start off the 2016 season? Yup, those same Panthers. This was also the beginning of the brief but frustrating Trevor Simien/Paxton Lynch experiment, and also the beginning of a playoff drought that continues into this 2021 season. Highlights HERE.


2017 vs Los Angeles Chargers (WON 24-21)

It's still weird for me to say it, and I STILL call them the San Diego Chargers, but this was the first game for the Chargers as the "LA" Chargers. It turned out pretty well...for the Broncos. Your highlights are HERE.

YouTube/ NFL

2018 vs Seattle Seahawks (WON 27-24)

Russell Wilson and company came to Denver to start off the 2018 season and put up a good fight. But, the Broncos prevailed in the end 27-24. Check out the highlights HERE.

YouTube/ NFL

2019 at Oakland Raiders (LOST 24-16)

The Broncos went out to Oakland to kick off the season in a primetime matchup and it wasn't very pretty. Check out the highlights ERR...lowlights HERE.

YouTube/ NFL

2020 vs Tennessee Titans (LOST 16-14)

In a game that simply got away due to some tough breaks and questionable play calls and decisions by the coaching staff late in the game, the Broncos dropped a tough game to kick off the weird 2020 season. Check out the highlights...ERR lowlights HERE.

YouTube/ NFL

Denver Broncos Forgotten Players

Denver Broncos Forgotten Players