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Published on 09/07/2011 at Wed Sep 07 16:44.
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Denver Broncos rookie linebacker Von Miller (58) chases down Seattle Seahawks running back Justin Forsett (20) during their pre-season NFL football game in Denver August 27, 2011. (REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

38 years.

That’s how long it’s been since the Denver Broncos started three rookies on opening day, reports CBS Sports. Yet that’s exactly what the Broncos are planning on doing Monday night when they host the Oakland Raiders.

Linebacker Von Miller, safety Rahim Moore, and offensive tackle Orlando Franklin will all get a quick education on the Raiders-Broncos rivalry as they suit up to start the game on Monday Night Football. If the Broncos open in a two tight end set, rookie Julius Thomas would start as well, making it a quartet.

It’s the first trio of opening day rookie starters the Broncos have boasted since 1973. The result then? A 28-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Can the 2011 Broncos repeat history relying on such youth? Inexperience is one thing, but head coach John Fox said he isn’t worried about rookie nerves getting in the way.

“It’s not going to be their absolute first time under the lights,” Fox said. “[We’ve] had four night games in the preseason [and] hopefully they’ll learn from that experience.”

“I kind of worked out some of my nerves in my first professional game in the preseason,” top Broncos pick Von Miller said. “It’s been three games from then and I’m just taking it one day at a time and hopefully we can pull it out on Monday.”

It’ll be a tall task.The Raiders dominated the Broncos in 2010 but, thanks to additions like Miller and Moore, are expecting a “totally different defense” on opening night.

Visions of 1973

The start of three rookies isn’t the only significant tie between Monday night’s game and the Broncos’ 1973 season. The Broncos had another historic first that year — their first Monday Night Football game, ever.

Their opponent? The Oakland Raiders. The result? A 23-23 tie.

Put that in context. The Broncos had never managed a winning season, and the Raiders were an AFL powerhouse. Broncos VP of Public Relations Jim Saccomano called it “one of (the) most significant games in Broncos and Denver history.”

On Monday night, the Broncos hope to start their second John Elway era in similar fashion. They’ll look to extend their NFL-best 11-year home win streak on opening week.

A 1-0 record would put them on track to match one other landmark the franchise reached in 1973 — a winning season. It was the first in Broncos history.

  • A Mile Above

    it’ll be a great MNF game! the broncos secondary has looked great so far in preseason, but injuries have hurt the middle. I think McFadden will pose as a threat, but VonDoom will be exciting!

  • Broncoscountrymx

    Wrong. The opening week winning streak got broken last year. In 2010, Denver lost vs. Jacksonville.

  • Danno

    At least we can finally pressure QBs again…Chambell better learn to see out his helmetvear hole!

  • anthony33

    Open note to John Fox

    Coach Fox,
    There are really only three things you need to know about keeping you job with the Broncos.  If you don’t believe me, go ask Wade Phillips and Josh McDaniels.

    The three most important things you need to know are:
    Don’t lose to the Raiders (on occasion is barley acceptable)
    Don’t lose to the Raiders at home (doing so will start your walking papers)
    Don’t get blown out at home by the Raiders (see Wade and Josh)

    Best of luck Mr Fox
    We’re with you!!!

  • Anonymous

    Jacksonville was an away game, not a home game. So the streak still stands.

  • Monty

    Hmm.. I need to double check things on that. Thanks.

  • john fox

    hey youre an idiot, blow me

  • 5280

    The only thing that im nervous about in this game is the run defence. they looked pretty solid in the preseason, but this raider run game embarrased us last year. McFadden and Bush pummled us. Ill have my eye on that as i watch the game. But one things for sure:THE BRONCOS WILL OWN 3RD DOWN!!! ON OFFENCE AND ESPECIALLY ON DEFENCE! WHEN ITS MILLER TIME, DR. DOOM LOWERS THE BOOM!

  • Elway4Life

    Broncos football!  Can’t wait!  I think Von Miller is going to be a great Bronco even as a rookie!   From what I’ve seen I think the Dr. VonDoom brothers could soon be one of the best Defensive tandems in football!

  • SivNiz


  • Danno

    Gallery left the Raiders OL…that will be felt in their run game.