Yes I attended my first playoff game on December 24, 1977 against these same Pittsburgh Steelers. I was age 21 at the time - just one year younger than my son Andrew is today.
This AFC Championship game matchup this Sunday really reminds me of the Broncos first AFC championship game in 1977 (actually January 1, 1978);
- The Broncos beat the Steelers to reach the championship game each season in a close, hard fought, emotional game.
- The Broncos are playing a defending Super Bowl champion at home for the AFC title (Raiders in 78, Pats in 2016)
- Broncos are led by a strong defense with a just good enough offense led by a savvy veteran qb with health issues (Craig Morton in 78, Peyton Manning in 2016)
- Broncos are underdogs (to the Raiders in 78 and the Patriots are favored Sunday by 2 1/2 points)
- Early kickoff for a Denver home game (12 noon in 1978, 1 pm this Sunday)
While the odds makers and experts will favor New England, don't bet against the Broncos! Just like a strong defense and the home field was enough for Denver to beat the Raiders in that AFC Championship game on New Years Day 1978, I think the same factors can lead to a Broncos win this Sunday. I'll be there - attending my 7th AFC Championship game in person in Denver (Raiders 1978, Cleveland 1988 - the Fumble, Cleveland 1989, Jets 1999, Steelers 2006, Pats 2014, Pats 2016)