BRONCOS

The three best games for the Broncos to wear throwback uniforms

May 17, 2024, 2:04 AM | Updated: 2:37 am

Broncos throwback uniforms...

(Photo by Gabriel Christus / Denver Broncos)

(Photo by Gabriel Christus / Denver Broncos)

The Denver Broncos can wear their throwback uniforms up to two times during the regular season.

They may not use both opportunities, of course. NFL regulations limit teams from using a throwback/Color Rush uniform and a third jersey to a combined three games each regular season. So, if the Broncos wear their 1977-inspired uniforms twice, they could wear their midnight-navy jerseys just once.

There are limitations to when they can wear their throwbacks based on the opponents’ other colors, of course.

For example, a dream duel of throwback uniforms between the Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers is impossible; you couldn’t have two teams wearing orange jerseys in the same game. The similarity of red and orange also prevents this from happening with the Atlanta Falcons. The Broncos could certainly wear them against either club, but they would do so with a modern template.

That being said, what are the three best games for the Broncos to don their throwbacks?

3. WEEK 2 VS. PITTSBURGH

The Broncos’ playoff run in 1977 started against Pittsburgh, so this would be a good chance to display the retro threads. However, the team may want to use the regular-season home opener as a chance to display the new uniform design — perhaps with a white-jersey, orange-pants ensemble for the first time since 1979.

2. WEEK 1 AT SEATTLE

This requires some cooperation between the Broncos and Seahawks. Of course, given how they’ve made three trades together since March 2022, these two clubs appear to know how to collaborate. (Although it must be asked whether the benefit is mutual?)

Pulling this off would make for a rare — but fun — color-on-color matchup with another team that has a throwback look. However, since this is the opening game of the regular season, it seems unlikely that the Broncos would go for this, instead preferring to debut a uniform from their new template.

1. WEEK 5 AT LAS VEGAS

The Raiders’ uniform is essentially unchanged from its 1977 form, aside from the evolution of jersey and pants cuts and helmet design in the 47 years since then. Thus, a Denver-Las Vegas tilt brings the opportunity to have a game that, on the surface, looks like the fall of 1977. Copious use of in-stadium music from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, which dominated airwaves during the Broncos’ magical run, could add to the atmosphere.

Given that two of the truly defining games of 1977 came at the expense of the Silver and Black — the Broncos’ 30-7, “It’s all over, fat man!” Week 5 romp and the AFC Championship Game, it seems appropriate to bring out the old-school-inspired uniforms for this contest. This could also be the week in which the Broncos honor Randy Gradishar with his Hall-of-Fame ring presentation. You’ll be able to feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’ with the roar the legendary No. 53 should receive.

Bonus points to the Broncos if they choose to paint the Empower Field at Mile High grass in the same way as the Mile High Stadium crew did for the 1977 title game.

Broncos throwback socks (Photo by Gabriel Christus / Denver Broncos)

HONORABLE MENTION:

Week 4 at New York Jets

A color-on-color matchup could be in play here, but the Jets — who made their retro-template throwbacks their full-time uniform this season — could also simply wear their white jerseys and white pants, creating a uniform battle that mostly resembles the ones between the clubs from 1978-89 (with the obvious exception of the Broncos wearing a 1977-vintage sock design, with three orange stripes trimmed in white on a blue base).

Week 6 or Week 16 vs. Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers could wear either their primary light-blue-and-yellow uniforms or their royal-blue alternates and this would dazzle. Royal blue would evoke some of the 1970s and early 1980s duels between the clubs.

Week 13 vs. Cleveland

Aside from the afore-mentioned socks, the Broncos could set up a look that evokes memories of their three AFC Championship Game duels in the 1980s — or, if the Browns wear orange pants with their white jerseys, duels between the teams in 1980 and 1983. But the Browns would have to play along, and given that the 1986, 1987 and 1989 conference-title games remain wounds that have yet to heal in northeast Ohio, why would they?

Week 7 vs. New Orleans

The Saints’ throwback uniforms are a classic — even though the shade of gold on the helmet doesn’t match the one on the pants. New Orleans also has two potential jersey options: a black throwback jersey and a white one that is used in its “Color Rush” template and also with the team’s alternate black helmets. These clubs played a 1974 game at Mile High Stadium – a 33-17 Denver win — with similar uniform designs and it would be delightful to see that sort of uniform matchup again inside the Superdome.

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