The Denver Broncos dominate my list of the top Denver sports moments of 2015. Here's my list:
10. Nuggets draft Emmanuel Mudiay #1.
The Nuggets draft young point guard Emmanuel Mudiay with the 7th pick of the first round of the NBA draft. Many experts rated Mudiay as one of the top three in the draft, so Denver was fortunate he fell to them at pick 7. Mudiay got off to a promising start in his rookie year but at year's end he is struggling with injuries and turnovers. Still he has shown enough promise to lead future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd to say "(Mudiay) will be better than me."
9. Colorado Rockies win opener 10-0 over Milwaukee.
In their most impressive opening day performance in team history, the Rockies stunned the Brewers in Milwaukee 10-0. Baseball opening day always draws more interest than other games on the long 162 schedule. Would this opening day blowout be a sign of better things to come for the Rockies? No, as they struggled to a last place finish in the NL West once again. But for one day the Rockies were the talk of the baseball world.
8. Colorado Rockies sweep the defending champ Giants in mid-April.
The Rockies opening day win was not their only highlight in April. A surprising sweep of the defending World Champ Giants in San Francisco temporarily put the Rocks in first place. At least they held Denver fans interest until the NFL draft and Bronco mini-camps later in the month!
7. Denver Nuggets beat Houston Rockets in the season opener.
The Nuggets surprised the Houston Rockets on opening night with a convincing 105-85 win over the Rockets in Houston. This game was doubly sweet as former Nugget Ty Lawson struggled while his point guard successor, Emmanuel Mudiay, had 9 assists. Like the Rockies, opening day would not be a sign of better things to come for the Nuggets, as they have lost 7 of their last 8 at year's end.
6. Broncos Beat Ravens 19-13 in season opener.
It was a good year for openers for most of our teams as the Broncos edged the Ravens 19-13 to start their season. The Ravens had a chance to score the go ahead TD in the closing minutes when Steve Smith dropped a sure TD pass from Joe Flacco. The win setup the Broncos to go on a 7-0 start while the Ravens never recovered. This was the same Raven team that almost beat the Super Bowl champ Patriots in the playoffs in January.
5. Broncos Beat Kansas City 31-24 in Thursday night football opener.
This was to be the game where the Chiefs finally beat Peyton Manning and the Broncos. It sure looked that way for most of the game before Denver tied the score in the closing minute, then stunned the crowd with a fumble return td just when it looked like the game would go to overtime. This sent the Chiefs reeling to a 1-5 start before KC recovered with a 9 game winning streak. As it looks like the Broncos will once again win the division at year's end, they could not have done it without this victory.
4. Colorado edges Colorado State 27-24 in overtime.
Lots of Colorado fans do not like this annual rivalry game to be played at Denver's Sports Authority Field. And the game had lost its appeal in Denver in recent years. But this 2015 game was a classic in the series. A near sell out crowd for the first time in five years added to the atmosphere. As a CU fan I liked the result - one of the few highlights in an otherwise disappointing season for the Buffs.
3. Broncos win the battle of the unbeatens on Sunday Night Football 29-10 over Green Bay.
In a prime time battle of two 6-0 teams, the Broncos had their best performance of the season in dominating the Packers for an easy win.
2. Broncos edge Bengals 20-17 in overtime.
In a game which should decide the 2nd seed and first round bye in the playoffs, the Broncos overcome a 14-0 first half deficit to edge the Bengals in overtime. The game had many twists and turns, with the Broncos winning on a fumble recovery in overtime. It was the third coldest home game in the team's history but the Broncos comeback win warmed the hearts of the Mile Hi faithful.
1. Broncos beat New England 30-24 in overtime.
It was a thrilling year of overtime victories for the Broncos (3). None was sweeter than this 30-24 win over the defending Super Bowl Champ Patriots. The Patriots dominated much of the game and had a 14 point lead early in the 4th quarter, but Denver quarterback Brock Osweiler, making his first start, led an amazing comeback for the win. The frigid weather, the first "snow" game in Denver in 10 years, added to the Sunday night atmosphere. Whatever happens to the Broncos in the playoffs, CJ Anderson's 48 yard clinching td run will long be remembered as one of the great moments in Broncos history.
And these two didn't make my top 10 but deserve honorable mention:
University of Denver wins ncaa lacrosse championship
In a sport dominated by eastern colleges, DU became the first school west of the Mississippi to win the national championship in lacrosse.
Broncos part ways with John Fox, hire Gary Kubiak
After a surprising and disappointing playoff exit against the Colts in Denver, the Broncos part ways with head coach John Fox and bring home former long time assistant and player Gary Kubiak.